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Who says you actually have to pay to get any of those things? Use in game gold and get it for freeeeeeeee. If you want to be lazy and pay cash for it then isn't it you yourself making the decision to buy holiday items?
No you don't have to pay for the event, there is a lot more free content than there is paid content. All you have to buy are two costume sets, a hat and three minis. If you want to quickly unlock other things you can pay to do it, but there are ways to get the rest without using gems.
Loyalty can't be bought at any price; but it can be rented remarkably cheaply.