A Commercial Christmas

November 1, 2011
No one can ignore the obvious signs that the holidays are approaching. As Halloween’s approach is just right around the corner, so is early Winter’s. Leaves on trees are falling at a rapid pace, the plants are beginning to wither away, and the temperature is continuing to drop. And with the early Winter comes the most festive time of the year: Christmas!.

Who doesn’t remember the thrill and anticipation of trying to stay up late in the odd hours of the Christmas Eve night waiting for Santa’s arrival? Then, after a hardy effort, compromising the mission , giving up, and waking to a generous pile of toys, wrapped packages, stuffed stockings, and unfortunately for you, one of those awful sweaters Aunt Rosie knits for you every year. Your parents, groggy, tired, and wishing that they could only cling on to their four hours of sleep just a little longer, drag themselves out of bed (at your will), and won’t let you touch ANYTHING until they grab their coffee and Tylenol to brace themselves for the horrific mess known as Christmas Morning to ensue. They grab the camera too, because for some odd reason Mom feels the need to take numerous pictures of you holding every wrapped and boxed package (which you know very well from Christmases in the past are likely to contain more of Aunt Rosie’s knitting “masterpieces”).

When you finally get to the part you’ve been waiting for for a month, the toys, you find many of them familiar to the ones from TV advertisements you’ve been obsessing over for the past several weeks. You would view the commercials often, eyes wide open, maybe drooling a bit, and then jumping up and down on the sofa declaring “Ooh, ooh! Mommy I want that!” That ad, like many others that time of year, is suited to appeal to spenders everywhere as another item to add to their Christmas Shopping list. Everything Christmas is commercial, from Santa flying his sleigh to Toys R Us as a supply of goodies for the kids on his Nice List to elves and penguins riding shopping carts down the aisles of Wal-Mart.

Nothing profitable isn’t advertised, and from coast to coast everyone soon finds themselves caught up in the hustle and bustle of last- minute shopping for their kids and relatives. The holiday season itself has become so materialistic and commercial, the “most wonderful time of the year” may as well replace its s’s in Christmas with dollar signs. With price tags here and there, pricey snow globes strewn across living rooms everywhere, and corporations playing the Santa card, I often found myself questioning if this was really what Christmas is supposed to be. What isn’t constantly being advertised is the plain and simple fact that people nowadays are constantly being lured away from the true meaning of the season.

Instead of a time of giving to those who need it, Christmas has become more of a time of want and receiving, mostly because of popular figures like Santa Clause. Not only has the Santa idea reached into almost every parent’s pocket, it is also commonly used as a parenting tool. If I only had a nickel for every time I heard my mom or dad warn me with the whole “ I hope Santa didn’t see that. ” thing when I was little. I, of course, would act like a good little boy from then on in fear of discovering a lump of coal in my stocking. The method also stands out to me as extremely unfair to less- fortunate children in lower class families. Did the kids belonging to single mothers working two minimum- wage jobs really “misbehave” to receive a lesser Christmas than those belonging to doctors or owners of large businesses? Or is it that their families struggle to make ends meet?

Let’s all be honest, most of us fell for it. Then, when common sense finally seems to settle into your mind, you feel a bit stupid for falling for such a game, a game designed to keep you behaving and wanting and your parents spending. Even though I stopped believing in Old St. Nick quite a while ago, I still play along with it with my younger sisters. Even if I tried to tell them it was all made up, they still wouldn’t believe me and would assume I wouldn’t get anything from Santa that year.

It’s obvious that the Holiday Season has become over commercialized. The boxes, bags, and tags seem to get in the way of the whole point of this time of year and cover it like a mask. But when you see past those boxes, bags, and tags, you see a joyous time of lending a helping hand, embracing family and friends, and most importantly, showing gratefulness to the birth of a child in a manger without a bed. Christmas isn’t about what’s on the table, what’s on the shelves, or what’s under the tree. It’s what comes from the inside that counts.





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Nigger said...
Dec. 7, 2016 at 1:20 pm
This made me Shit myself
 
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