Gal Gadot and American Holidays

Two weeks ago was definitely one of the busiest weeks of my life as I had both midterms and lots of ROTC training events. In all my business I found myself lying on my bed, mid-day on Thursday, watching Jimmy Fallon videos to de-stress.

One of the videos I stumbled across was an interview of Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress who recently played Wonder Woman in DC’s newest live action film. She talks of the success of the film, her adventures promoting the movie, and how her daughter has dealt with the busy schedule and fame.

Towards the middle of the video, Jimmy asks Gadot about her daughter’s reaction to the American holiday of Halloween. Gadot responds letting Jimmy know that last year’s Halloween was her daughter’s first. She continues by saying, “And I want to say it’s weird. You guys in America, you have wonderful holidays, but it’s kind of crazy, right?”

 

Jimmy laughs in the background assuming that she’s going to say something lighthearted and joking.

 

She doesn’t. In fact, she says something quite serious and insightful.

 

“Because it’s all about consuming and consuming. So Christmas, everyone buys presents, and then Halloween, everyone’s got to do candies and buy tons of candies, and then it’s okay for you to tell to your children to go knock on strangers’ doors so they can give them candies.”

 

The crowd erupts in laughter.

 

But in all seriousness.

 

Why are Americans so obsessed with getting new things? Why do our modern holidays revolve around consuming and buying? Is it that different in other parts of the world?

 

I was curious about the background that Gadot was coming from so I looked into Israeli Holidays. They center around Jewish holidays, which are focused heavily on “celebration”. For a good majority of these days, people tend to gather together to play games, eat meals, and sing songs. Commonly, the theme is focused on celebrating and enjoying the presence of family and friends while remembering important events.

 

In the US we do have days like this such as Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, but even they are slowly being infiltrated by America’s obsession with consumerism as Black Friday creeps into Thanksgiving, with sales starting on Thursday, and with the Fourth of July becoming a day when many companies discount their prices in the hope that people will come shopping.

 

 

What if we revolutionized our holidays by overcoming consumerism and instead, prioritizing the actual celebration with family, friends, and traditions? Let’s make an effort this holiday season to prioritize what’s important in our celebrations.