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Commercializing Christmas

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The season of love and giving hit the shopping malls on Black Friday; the stores fill with the latest gifts and the bargain shoppers begin the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift. Americans across the country mark this season with their pocket book, mindlessly “buying” love for one another, while simultaneously degrading the very spirit of the holiday season: love. Thus, as the bells toll for the Christmas cheer, the deepening greed of our culture begins with the commercialization of the holiday.

Materialism, or Objectivism in the philosophy of author Ayn Rand, is centered in the selfish nature of one’s self interest in their acquisitive “needs.” In our modern world, our society has formed the judgment of one’s successes in life based on the accumulation of materialistic goods: the size/price of one’s house, car, entertainment venues, wardrobe, and etcetera. The society we reside in is based on the principle of monetary possessions; our culture is inundated by the perpetual hunger for wealth from the entertainment world and the media conditioning the human psyche into the materialistic ideology of selfish needs. Thus, Christmas in the spirit of giving, becomes commercialized by the shopping districts into a holiday of possessions. The media/corporate stores indoctrinate our society into the buying aspect of the season-the gifts. Their financial gain trumps their desire to spread true holiday cheer but to make a dollar in return. The season consequently loses the original meaning of love and becomes commercialized by the goods. Avarice, a seven deadly sin, therefore becomes the motif of the season; ironically demoralizing the holiday.

In addition, in our unstable fiscal rollercoaster, it has become increasingly difficult for the working class to sustain the financial desires of their children (a.k.a. us). The rough economy cripples the buying power of the majority of parents, consequently with all the inflation, foreclosures, and credit woes parents have a harder time providing the materialistic goods for Christmas. By asking (and demanding in some cases) for tremendous loads of expensive items, our generation is not only conceding to the will of corporate giants attempting to “commercialize Christmas,” but also is inconsiderately wounding our parent’s pocket books and spoiling the Christmas spirit. Hence, this season perhaps {we} should not ask for the brand new Pontiac Solstice, PS3 or Iphone, but instead be thankful for what we receive instead, even if it maybe of lesser ‘value’; and be understanding of the less fortunate who may receive nothing.
Giving and receiving gifts is not evil, do not misconstrue (it is called the season of giving); but again, the holiday need not to focus on the materialistic side of all things, our egotistical cravings for more possessions; but of the love and joy for one another: family, friends, community, and the love in between. A religious celebration for some, a time of thankfulness for others; but together a period of solace and tranquility, of family and friends, and of love. This season make a commitment to the true meaning of Christmas, ask for less and open your heart more; and perhaps maybe the commercial Grinch will not steal Christmas again.

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Christy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm
This is so true! I feel that everyone should read your article, because it makes very important points. Christmas is NOT all about presents and spending money, and often times people forget that.
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