A Personal Observation – Is it the Christmas or Commercialism Season?
December 7, 2013 2 Comments
Over the last few decades, I couldn’t help but notice just how commercial the holidays have become. The ads start in September; reminding you to start early so you can budget wisely and get everything you need, and then around the end of October you start to see the ads for Black Friday. Really makes you wonder what the Christmas season is about. The news is full of retailer expectations, that they plan on doing a whole year’s worth of profit in one day, and there’s so much hype around Black Friday (Cyber Monday), it makes you feel guilty for NOT going out and shopping.
“Oh we have to go out and shop because if we don’t then the big retailers will lose money and they’ll close up stores and people will be out of a job.”
Did you know that up until the 1800’s, Christmas wasn’t celebrated in the grandiose way it is now? It was very simple, and the poorer you were, the simpler it was. Only the rich could afford to dine on huge meals, give presents and sing carols, while the poor were left to try and ward off starvation and the cold temperatures.
I don’t think I could pinpoint when the commercialism of the holidays began. I feel it’s been creeping up on us for some time, possibly fuelled by the economic boom that came after WW2. There was plenty of money and jobs and things to be bought, because let’s face it, the more stuff you have, the happier you are, right?
With the economical downfall of 2008, careers disappeared and people were forced to take low-paying jobs that were once relegated to students and immigrants. People aren’t in the financial standing they were, but I’m still seeing the same old commercialism. Even more so on Black Friday, which leads me to ask the question—is it the Christmas or Commercialism Season?
In the last few years, we’ve changed how we celebrate; opting to do the family dinner thing, and maybe one or two presents each. We have the carols going and we decorate. We try to focus on the good feelings we get from this time of year, instead of the greed. It’s less stress, and easy on the pocketbook, but I can’t help wondering how much longer our society can keep this up.
How do you celebrate the holidays?