We all know the legend of Santa Claus, how every year he brings presents made by elves kept at his home in the North Pole to all the good little children of the world while traveling on his sleigh pulled by reindeer. Santa has been used by corporate America to sell the idea of Christmas to the populus. Because of that, most people will say it makes him a capitalist image used to trick people into spending more money on the most expensive holiday of the year.
Santa first came to be used by advertisers in the early 20th century, typically using his striking red clothes to pull attention to soda products such as . After this first introduction, more businesses slapped his image onto advertisements and more consumers ate it up every year. Thus began the corruption of what I would consider one of the last wholesome male role models. Santa has always promoted peace, love and good will towards all, yet he’s been corrupted by corporate America to tell us that the only way to help bring peace and happiness to the world is to spend an exuberant amount of money on useless items for people we sometimes don’t even like.
This heavy push of placing Santa on every little object every Christmas season reflects how we as a society have moved away from family oriented holidays, to making every special occasion a reason to run out and buy something new. Take Thanksgiving for example; it feels as if it is no longer about spending needed time with our families and loved ones and being thankful for the things we already have. Instead Black Friday has taken over with stores opening earlier and promoting bigger and better sales every year — making us feel as though what we have isn’t good enough and we need more. Because of our consumer culture, I feel that holidays have lost that close familial touch that they had during our parents and their parents generations.
You can’t watch TV without having holiday ads try to tell you why you and your family won’t be happy unless you buy their product. There’s never anything promoting the importance of family or trying to convince you to reach out into your community and help those in need. The consumer mindset that we live in now has corrupted even the most wholesome aspects of our lives. Santa has been transformed from a character promoting the best for humanity into something we just plaster onto useless items just to prey on people's nostalgia for the “good times” and our need to feel good about ourselves.
Logan Carr is a freshman studying political science at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Let Logan know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.