Christmas: Is It Really About the Children?
I believe Cross’ argument about the true meaning of Christmas gifts for children. Today, Christmas gifts are not necessarily about making the child happy, or giving them the toy they’ve been waiting for all year; it’s about keeping up with the Jones’ and making sure everyone in the neighborhood knows that you are wealthy and financially stable enough to give your family everything they want and more. Of course, children will ask for lots of things, but many parents choose each year to get their children any and everything their child could even think to ask for.
Although it’s not blatantly stated in the Sega Genesis commercial below, it’s subconsciously telling the consumer (usually a parent) that if they get this gaming system, they will be the most popular household in the neighborhood, and it will signal to all the other parents that they are the most affluent ones on the block. The children will see the new gaming system, then go home to their parents and ask why they don’t have one. In an attempt to keep the love of the child, and show off to the neighborhood, the parent will usually go get the gaming system and a variety of games, thus signaling to the rest of the neighborhood that they too are wealthy.
Plenty of emphasis is placed on who has the most money, and who is living the best life these days. While it is considered crass to simply spend money on yourself and show off with your own personal items, it is seen as socially acceptable to bestow unnecessary gifts on children, so that they can do the bragging for you. That is what Christmas has come to mean.