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HomeBreaking NewsThe case for spending less money on holiday gifts

The case for spending less money on holiday gifts

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You are familiar, I’m sure, with the institution of the gift shop: a business that exists entirely to sell useless treats and temptations, an ode to capitalistic superfluousness. During the weekend before Hanukkah, I found myself in such a place, driven into a state of dissociation by twee mugs and balsam-scented candles. This was how I ended up purchasing a felt pocket of catnip in the shape of a pierogi for my brother’s cat, because the package I was sending to his family in California just felt incomplete without a few extra trinkets. 

Normally, I am a woman who is familiar — intellectually, professionally, emotionally — with the many problems brought about by rampant holiday shopping. I know that both the copious buying and receiving of presents often constitutes a source of stress for all parties involved, that shiny wrapping paper and ribbon are a landfill nightmare, that the manufacturing and shipping of billions of goods for a few days’ celebration is both a burden on human workers and the polluted atmosphere. Indeed: the entire contemporary ideal of winter holidays is largely perpetuated by corporations to profit off of manufactured emotions. 

One obvious solution that evades most of these environmental and societal ills while still showering love and generosity upon your loved ones is to embrace gifts not bought new: homemade, secondhand, even — gasp! — regifted. It is a technique I personally strive to espouse. In the weeks leading up to Hanukkah, I took significant time and care this year to make personalized drawings in vintage frames for my family members, at my dining room table. (They were nice! I promise.) 

And yet I still felt the need to buy a few small things, simply to show that I was also willing to spend money on my loved ones — This in

You are familiar, I’m sure, with the institution of the gift shop: a business that exists entirely to sell useless treats and temptations, an ode to capitalistic superfluousness. Normally, I am a woman who is familiar — intellectually, professionally, emotionally — with the many problems brought about by rampant holiday shopping. Indeed: the entire contemporary ideal of winter holidays is largely perpetuated by corporations to profit off of manufactured emotions.

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