It’s early November. You are scrolling through your recommended section on Youtube and suddenly, a new video pops up: “What I Want for Christmas 2016.” You think: “It’s only November, Christmastime is in December.” Then you remember that commercial Christmastime comes the day after Thanksgiving. But why?
If you walk into Target in November, it is Christmas Wonderland- but not really. There are pictures everywhere of kids wearing perfect makeup, sitting in perfect pajamas, sitting under a large, perfectly decorated, fake, Christmas tree, sitting by a GIANT pile of presents. There are shirts that say: “Naughty is too nice” and “It’s all about the presents”. But the problem is- it isn’t “all about the presents”.
Christmas originated in the Christian religion as a way to celebrate the birth of Jesus. When people celebrate, often they exchange gifts. Other things like Christmas Trees, and Candy Canes originated. And even from the biblical songs came “Christmas Songs”. But it used to not be soooo crazy.
It is reasonable that people want to go shopping and such, and enjoy the Holiday Garb. According to Andy Williams, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Okay, sorry, that was really bad. But jokes aside, this article is not telling you to be the Grinch. Just take a look around you.
Have you fallen into the trap of spending three hundred dollars on holiday gifts made in China? Or making an extravagant wish list that takes up three pages in google docs? Have you found yourself losing it, and feeling sad when you didn’t get a gift you wanted? Don’t worry. If you find yourself in any of these situations just take a minute to imagine Christmas long ago.
Take yourself to a time when Christmas was about giving, not getting. A time with no cell phones, Cyber Monday, or three hour long Christmas Hauls on youtube. Imagine making all of your gifts, or walking to the ten cent store on the corner with money you saved all year. Imagine hanging popcorn and cranberries on the Christmas tree, or opening the “Chrissy Doll” on Christmas morning and being so excited for what Santa brought you.
Okay, but let’s be real. We don’t have a time machine. It’s time to answer “why” and give you some old school holiday tips, to remember the real meaning of Christmas this year and “Keep Christ in Christmas”.
The answer to why Christmas may be so commercialized is that people never seem to be happy. They have a fear of better options. When you buy the new iPhone, you are happy until the new one comes out with supposedly “better everything”. So, you add it to your Christmas list because, let’s be real, you probably don’t have 770 dollars on hand, because money doesn’t grow on trees. But wait- you need to have the new bluetooth earphones- they have to be better than your current ones- but that is another 160 dollars you don’t have. You better add it to your list- along with the new makeup palette, signed jersey, balance beam, converse, laptop, solid gold phone case and new trombone- plus you can’t forget money and gift cards- those are essentials.
The companies need to keep up- and cater to this need, so that way you are left with no possible better options because that is always possible (*Sarcastic Smile*). Eventually the consumer and supplier keep on competing with each other trying to get the best. That may be how Christmas is so commercialized these days.
Now for some final tips. Try to make something for someone or buy something someone else has handmade. Try to buy locally with meaning. Really think about if the person would really want the gift. And always remember- it’s the thought that counts.