The Christmas Trail Between Tradition and Consumption

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Columns, Little Brazil

The Christmas Trail Between Tradition and Consumption

By Karla Rensch

In the blink of an eye, we realize that the end of the year is approaching, December is just around the corner and Christmas is almost here. The city lights are starting to go up, the houses will soon begin their “silent” competition to see which one will be the most decorated in the neighborhood and express the longest sigh.

Besides the captivating atmosphere in the air, the month of December also welcomes the cold winter, which knocks at our door with full force. But the winter never arrives alone for it invites, among many other things, a predisposition for additional spending.

The Christmas tradition has no borders. People around the world celebrate the holiday, usually with abundant feasts of typical meals and drinks. As we share the table with our loved ones and our own secret dreams for the new year, the tradition remains alive despite the growth of consumption today.

Modernity drives that competition, and it is no secret that the “neighbor’s grass,” for many, “always grows greener,” a trend of thought that stimulates consumption. This is how individuals are introduced to a dangerous and common repetitive cycle, which perpetuates the habit of spending on something that pleases the eye and not themselves. Some people believe that to maintain the “wealth status” modern society seems to require, it is almost like an obligation to constantly buy things, even if they are not necessary.

Buying power is a positive thing for it keeps businesses running and it generates jobs. Consumption is obviously the basis of the economy. The problem is the excess of spending, when a credit card is no longer an asset and becomes a controlling tool that leaves one with deep financial problems.

One of the secrets that proves to be effective when you struggle with your conscience while purchasing something is simple. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask three basic questions: “Do I want to purchase it? Can I afford it? Do I really need it?” Although simple, those questions will make a compulsive consumer stop and think and be more conscious about it. Those questions can change a consumer’s behavior. After all, do you control the credit card, or does the credit card control you?

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November 21, 2018

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