Is Christmas a potlatch? It seems to me to bear some resemblance to the Northwest Native American festivals.
For instance: Economically, it functions as a massive redistribution of wealth. One’s status seems to increase with the amount and value of goods that one can give away. And people sometimes go broke giving away their wealth. In each of those respects, it resembles the Native American festivals.
So, is Christmas mainstream society’s equivalent of a potlatch? What do you think?