Is Christmas too commercial?

Christmas has become too commercialized.

This is a common idea that many people agree with. It has become blatantly obvious over the last few years that the holiday itself has become defined by its commercialism. While mainly a religious holiday, the idea of exchanging gifts at the end of the year can date all the way back to the Roman empire, when gifts would be exchanged on the winter solstice to celebrate the coming of the new year. Christmas as a holiday is a culmination of this and many other end of the year celebrations. In modern days, Christmas is now ridiculously commercial, and it’s not even hidden, but how else does one celebrate the holidays if not with a decorated tree, gifts and a traditional Christmas dinner? 

Unfortunately, these are exactly the questions that corporations want people to ask themselves, especially this time of year. Some people buy into the ridiculous commercialized Christmas, but just as many think that they prefer to have a traditional holiday. Stores are, of course, aware of this and have used this as a way to sell even more goods. They use the idea of a “proper” Christmas to sell items that they have labeled as “traditional.” Stores have been selling the idea of a “proper Christmas experience” for about as long as the holiday has been around in stores.

Which is a very long time. Santa made his first debut in a department store in 1862, as a marketing technique to convince people to buy more stuff. 

As Christmas has continued throughout the years, the commercialism has continued to encroach on people’s lives. Christmas ads begin all the way in October, as well as a sharp increase of Christmas ads around Black Friday. All of this is done for the motive of making a profit, but it wasn’t always this way. Even as little as 20 years ago, the holidays could be seen as more about giving employees time off and avoiding making a profit move, said economics teacher Julie Cuvelier. Cuvelier said that honor system has been broken by businesses in recent years.

These negative business practices around the holidays have had both a negative and positive effect around the holidays. Wasteful spending around Christmas only serves to decrease the savings of Americans, fueled by an apparent obligation to buy gifts. In contrast, the holiday season also creates jobs. 

There is at least a little positive outlook for change. Ever since covid, hanging on to employees has been difficult. This has insinuated businesses to treat remaining employees better in order to retain a work force. Stores aren’t going to stop trying to oversell Christmas, but ultimately the public controls the sales, not the store. It’s your job to decide what to do with your dollars. 

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