I am in no way bashing Christmas, or any other holiday in this article, I am only criticizing the way retailers have twisted this holiday away from its former self (I love Christmas as much as the next guy).
Smell that? Smells like Christmas doesn’t it? I love the smell as Christmas, smells like childlike wonder, joy, and– Wait a second… This is November! This isn’t the time for Christmas now, I’m supposed to have my nostrils filled with the smells of turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes! I don’t want candy canes being shoved up there just yet, save that for December. Well, we all know why Christmas is leaking into November, it’s no secret, retailers are getting more desperate to shove those dreams of sugar plum fairies down our throats every year. This phenomenon is called a “Christmas Creep” . The amount of money America spends on Christmas has been steadily increasing every year, according to the National Retail Foundation; every year holiday sales increase by about 3-5%, and retailers want those percentages to increase.
I’m sad to sound like a Scrooge, but every year, Christmas seems to have less meaning to me, it’s become more of a money-grabbing joke rather than a religious holiday usually celebrated by Christians. Christmas is no longer exclusive to Christians, and that’s not bad but, the main focus has shifted from the birth of a baby to a concept of joy and love. At least, that’s what it’s new modern focus is supposed to be.
Christmas used to be a specific religious holiday, now everyone is free to celebrate the holiday with a deeper meaning since it’s creation. The evolution beyond religion has distorted Christmas into a holiday where consuming processed products has become the main focus, rather than the togetherness it brings out in people. This isn’t in the fault of the consumer, it’s in the fault of the media/stores, as humans, we are easily influenced by things like advertisements because we like to have something to follow; it’s just in our nature. So, since the media has told us before to Buy! Buy! Buy! during Christmas, we feel it’s more necessary to consme , it’s preached and drilled into us that presents are important, they are what run Christmas, and our spouse or parent will be disappointed in us if we don’t get them that perfect gift. That’s why we as gullible consumers go out and buy that gift with whatever money we have, usually your mother would be perfectly happy with a batch of cookies you made with a hug, but instead you may buy her a new set of plates because Kohl’s said that’s what moms like. Retailers try to dictate what we want and what we like, we obviously have some input, but we tend to follow the trends. This isn’t bad, but this human nature can be taken advantage of so retailers end up shaking more money out of buyers.
Other holidays need a spotlight too, it just feels disrespectful to shove other holidays to the side in favor of this processed holiday. There are plenty of people across the nation who don’t celebrate Christmas in favor of another holiday. I don’t see gigantic inflatable Menorah’s on every Jewish family’s lawn and I haven’t got anything against giant inflatable Santa’s, but the overall hype over Christmas seems overdone. I never saw a Peanuts special on Kwanzaa on ABC in all of my time as a kid. Christmas was shoved forward, partly because Christianity is one of America’s most popular religions, and partly because retailers could make big money off of such a holiday where gifts are an important element to the holiday.
Retailers will do anything to get consumers to buy their product, they feel the need to kick off the “Christmas Season” earlier every year so they can make a bigger profit than last year. Black Friday last year started on the day of Thanksgiving rather than staying to it’s respective day on Friday. Thanksgiving Day shopping has risen drastically, in 2010 Americans spent $407 million, which was a rise of a whopping 28% from the previous year. While all the red and green themed knick-knacks that fill the shelves are great, the holiday just ends up giving off a wrong vibe. The scent of money pollutes the gingerbread smell of Christmas, and it saddens me to see the holiday reduced with such disrespect. Christmas has become a cash-cow for retailers, and they milk it harder every year, and they know it’s udders aren’t going to go dry anytime soon, so they don’t bother holding back.
On the other hand, plenty of people do love this early start to the holiday season and still remember it’s origins, I have absolutely no problems with the celebrators of Christmas, just the people that try to sell us Christmas. Christmas is not something you can buy, it is a feeling of joy and togetherness, spending it with family and friends, showing them you care about them. Christmas is not about shoving into a Walmart to get the last HD Plasma BZX Ultra TV. That isn’t fun, cutting your Thanksgiving short so you could camp out in front of a Target to get 20 dollars off an exclusive Chia Pet. That is my problem with Christmas, it’s been corrupted so the gifts mean more than the people giving them.
There is still some purity in Christmas and that’s the part that I love ; children running downstairs into the living room to see their new bike and that look of sheer joy in their eyes. That is the part of Christmas I support, the child-like wonder you see in children and adults alike on this Holiday season.
Take this story with a grain of salt, I am definitely expressing an opinion of my own, and if you feel differently or agree, leave a comment.