The Importance Of Gifts And The Increasing Commodification Of Modern Society

1830 WordsMar 1, 20178 Pages
Several generations of anthropologists and social theorists have engaged in discussions about gift that ‘defines’ the term. The word ‘gift’ is often difficult to define in specific terms because although it sounds simple, is very complex and subtle, and as Mauss (1990) puts it, it is “one that goes deep but is isolated: the so-to-speak voluntary character of the total services, apparently free and disinterested, but nevertheless constrained and self-interested” (Mauss, The Gift 1990:1). Considering the complexity of gifts and the increasing commodification of modern society, it can be difficult to have a clear-cut example of a gift. According to the Memidex dictionary, “commodification (or commoditization) is the transformation of goods…show more content…
It is not mandatory in my home to buy gifts for one another; in fact, we do not participate in the traditional exchange of gifts. Our gifts to one another during the period of Christmas is the time we spend together. It is mandatory for everyone to be home and both physically and mentally present on Christmas day in order to participate in this practice. On some occasions, we invite close friends and family members who do not have any family relatives around to spend Christmas with to join us in the celebration. For my family, Christmas is about spending quality time with one another, showing love to just about everyone irrespective of their background and religion, and above all, a celebration of the birth of Christ who is considered a gift to the world. Expressly, Christmas is a period of gift giving for my family, but very different from the commodified form of gift giving that majority of society practices during the Christmas season; it is the gift of family, time, love and Christ. In contemporary society, Christmas is characterized by gift exchange among people. There is nothing wrong in the exchange of gifts; however, the means through which it is done tends to overlook the true meaning of Christmas. The pressure that people have during Christmas to get someone a gift, accompanied by the hopes of getting something in return, advances the perception that Christmas is just

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