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Skippy's avatar

Does the commercialization of Christmas bother you?

Asked by Skippy (2166points) November 2nd, 2009

Of course the holiday is to celebrate the birth of Christ, but do the event’s of Santa and early arrival of decorations & sales in the stores get you in the sore spot?


I just don’t understand why they start decorating for Christmas before Halloween. By the time Thanksgiving comes, I am already burnt out!

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49 Answers

syz's avatar

It’s certainly done it’s part to turn me into a Scrooge. I’m not particularly fond of the holiday.

eponymoushipster's avatar

uh…December 25th isn’t Jesus’ birthday anyways, so…. this holiday is pretty much fail, commercialization or not.

gemiwing's avatar

It’s a capitalist country so why would the stores not want to extend the biggest money-maker for the year? I don’t fault them that. That’s business to me, and if people have an issue with it it’s easy to fix. Don’t buy anything.

As far as I know it’s not a requirement that I buy everyone I know a plasma tv for Christmas. So for me, and my friends/family, Christmas isn’t any more commercial than we make it. It’s our own choice.

erichw1504's avatar

Yes, more every year. Maybe I’m becoming a Scrooge?

CMaz's avatar

Because it is the commercialization of Christmas.

erichw1504's avatar

I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like 20 years from now…

wundayatta's avatar

For most people, I think Christmas is a secular kind of holiday—even those who are fairly observant Christians. This is because this holiday has come to celebrate American industry and consumption, in addition to the winter solstice and a Christian holy day. The holiday makes much more sense as a celebration of the American Way. We are doing our duty to keep the economy vibrant. Without Christmas, we would all be that much poorer.

And isn’t that what the religious Christmas is about? Sharing with those less fortunate? Spreading the wealth is a very similar thing. As is contributing to the wealth.

So no, the commercialization of Christmas bothers me no more than any other commercialization. It would be nice if Americans would start to focus a little more on spiritual pursuits and a little less on things, but since it’s easier to assess status using things as a measure, I don’t expect change any time soon.

J0E's avatar

I love seeing the first Christmas commercial of the year, I love when stores start decorating, and I especially love the early Christmas music on the radio. I just learned to accept it. To me, Christmas has always been more than just one day, so I really don’t mind the over two months of celebration that the commercialization has created.

Frankie's avatar

No, it doesn’t really bother me. When went to stores this past week looking for Halloween stuff and saw all the Christmas stuff, I kind of shook my head and laughed, but no, I didn’t get pissed off or irritated. And the reason for that is because Christmas is what you make it. If you want to get caught up in the stores pushing Christmas so early to get more money, that’s your prerogative. I choose to ignore it and/or just not care, because for me, Christmas is simply about being with my family, not about stores, Santas or religion. Just because all the crap is in the stores doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

shego's avatar

I hate how every year, I see Christmas stuff more, and more. I just wish that it would stop. To me, since everything is out early, it makes me feel like I am a total procrastinator, when I know I’m not ( or at least not totally)

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Yes, it does. Christmas is lost in all the trappings of money. The music that starts now, the Christmas stuff that’s appearing in the stores…it’s all about money. I find it sad. Thanksgiving is lost in it all. By the time Christmas DOES gets here, I’m sick of it & that’s not the way it should be.

J0E's avatar

@Frankie is absolutely right. Christmas is what you make it. I still enjoy Christmas very much, so can everyone else.

JLeslie's avatar

They decorate the stores for Christmas early because of MONEY, tehy want to make money. Christmas generally makes or breaks a stores financial goals for the year, and a lot of it is based on market share…meaning each customer is going to spend a certain amount for the season and you want the people to buy from you not the other guy, so if they buy from you first, you just got that portion into your revenue numbers. If you are Jewish, it is a good thing Christmas sales are starting early, because Chanukah is very early this year, I think sundown Dec11th, so if you want the gifts to get to the grandkids ontime, you need to get your shopping done late November if you don’t want to pay priority mail.

If I were a religious Christian it would annoy me it is so commercialized. I don’t get the bunny and the chocolate on that other very important holy day either.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@JLeslie much like the lights and tree at Christmas, the bunny and eggs have pagan origins, and were mixed into a “Christian” belief in order to more easily convert pagans. a lot of it pertains to fertility.

JLeslie's avatar

@eponymoushipster But the day should be about the death and resurection of Christ. Why not have a Spring fest day separate from Easter? I understand the history of why the Christians might have mushed it all together a long long time ago, but seems there should be a movement to go back to basics.

People just set themselves up to be taken advantage of. It is basically agreed Jesus was not born on the 25th. A family could decide to celebrate on the 29th and buy everything half price. Actually, as a side note, my husband family had more gifts on Jan 6, which I guess in English is the day of the epiphany, I think it is El Dia de Los Tres Reyes in Mexico. Why let commercialization control you and your spending habits.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@JLeslie well, for example, the Russian Orthodox Church has a different date for Christmas.

In the Bible, there are specific instructions laid out for memorializing Jesus’ death, which he himself outlined.

There is nothing pertaining to celebrating his birth, nor record that his early followers did so.

What’s worse is that, especially with Christmas, Dec 25 is a pagan holiday of the worship of the sun. So, in effect, it’s an insult, in that a day used to celebrate an enemy is grafted onto His life.

I mean, how would a Holocaust survivor react to Holocaust Rememberance Day being celebrated on April 19th?

jackm's avatar

dont you think that is more than a coincidence?

JLeslie's avatar

@eponymoushipster Yes, the more I learn about it, the more absurd it is. Again, maybe the Chrsitians should do something about it. The thing is no one wants to take away the fun. As long as the media, stores and peers are still getting santa and gifts, the more difficult it is to take it away from yoru own kids. Look at Chanukah, the only reason it has become about gifts is to compete with Christmas, because the Jewish kids feel left out. Most Jewsih families I know only by gifts for the kids, they don’t worry about giving to the adults. Sometimes my husband and I give a “gift” to each other on Chanukah, but we would have been buying it anyway, we just call it for Chanukah. Making Latkes and lighting the Menorah is enough for me, I don’t feel jipped like many people I know who celebrate Christmas do when Christmas is not a big event with the entire family and bunches of presents.

What I propose is having a separate Winter day full of decorated trees and lights that we can all feel good about participating in and leave the celebration of the birth of Christ as a religious holiday.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@JLeslie the problem lies not in fun but in the fact that 1) most “Christian” religions aren’t all that Christian 2) they’d have to admit they’re wrong and 3) it would lead to a massive loss of patronage. Think about how much the Catholic church, for one, hinges on all these things.

It’s unlikely they’ll admit or change anything.

inkvisitor's avatar

Yeah, but it is along the same lines of every other commercial extravaganza.

I didn’t grow up in a religious household but we had “secular Christmas.” I just thought it was that holiday where we got to travel to see family and stuff. Oh, and get presents, of course! lol.

Trust, when I learned about the whole Jesus thing and the religion that surrounded him, it was quite something to wrap my head around (to this day, even!).

tinyfaery's avatar

I say let the Christians invent a new holiday, on a different day. Then the whole country won’t shut down for the holiday of one religion.

I celebrate giftmas, which just so happens to fall on December 25th.

eponymoushipster's avatar

if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck.

tinyfaery's avatar

But it has no involvement with religion or Jesus.

JLeslie's avatar

I like “giftmas” I’ll have to use that. @inkvisitor “secular Christmas” is very difficult for me, being the word is CHRIST-mas.

J0E's avatar

I think you guys are over thinking the whole holiday. Celebrate what you want to celebrate, not what the stores tell you to. I think the secular traditions are way better than the christian ones anyway, and I’m catholic. But again, just celebrate what you want to celebrate. If you don’t like the commercialization then don’t take part in it.

poofandmook's avatar

I agree with J0E. Nobody says you have to celebrate what Christmas has become. If you do it just because everyone else does it, then that’s just as bad as the commercialization, no? It becomes what it is because that’s what people have made it. If the majority of people aren’t happy with the way it is, then the majority of the people wouldn’t have created the beast.

On that note, I don’t care. I like it. Christmas makes me happy. Why does everything have to be an epic struggle of morals and values?

proXXi's avatar

Yes, It’s sad and annoying.

It makes Christmas seem less special.

I’ve had enough of the Season taking up a quarter of my life (three months per year).

It certainly doesnt help my seasonal depression.

But hey, its we capitalists prerogative, and not having Christmas is probably one of the reasons some muslims are so ate up with anger and hate.

ubersiren's avatar

Christmas is about tradition for me and not the birth of Christ. Commercialization of the traditions involved doesn’t really bother me on the corporate end. I get more bugged by the people or customers who can’t control themselves and buy into all the hype. Those people with 7 of those giant blow up decorations in their yard and spend thousands of dollars on their kids. I don’t know why it bothers me. I guess I just prefer Christmas to be more… I dunno, peaceful? I mean, I’m all for decorating and gifting- I want to do it before most anyone I know- but it’s less about the money spending and more about homemade goodies and time with family.

JLeslie's avatar

@J0E That all sounds good. I think maybe I like to find the hypocrisy or irrational behavior in Christian holidays, because the Christians always seem to be trying to tell everyone else they are right, their bible is the only way, and how awful people are who want to secularize everything.

J0E's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t think Holidays is really a big issue for most Christians, heck, my church decorates with just as much secular stuff as religious.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I don’t celebrate Christmas for the religious part of it. I love the holiday because it brings my family together. I don’t mind at all when I see Christmas decorations out in stores around Halloween. It gets me excited for the upcoming holidays. Ever since I was a kid Christmas has always felt very magical to me. I don’t like to analyze why. I just let it be.

JLeslie's avatar

@J0E First, I would leave Catholics out of my criticism of Christians for the most part. Second, I think you missed my point. It is the fact that Chrsitians do use pagan rituals in their celebration of the birth of Christ that somehow seems hypocritical and illogical to me.

J0E's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217…psst…BIRTH of Christ…

@JLeslie Yeah, I suppose that doesn’t make much sense, but I’ve never felt like it was disrespectful or anything. Maybe others do.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@J0E And that is why I’m not a Christian.

JLeslie's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I enjoy Christmas too. The decorations, the music, the nutcracker, all of that stuff.

Dr_C's avatar

I love everything about the christmas season.. the gifts, the food, the music, the decorations and the cute girls at the local mall dressed up as santa’s little helpers.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Yes it does bother me but I think that’s more to do with the fact that I have never been a fan of Christmas due to old (unpleasant) feelings it conjurs up for me. By having it shoved in my face in October I have those feelings long before the Christmas period has actually begun. However, I am aware that this is my problem and I can understand why many people love Christmas so much (my work mates are extremely, to the point of irritating, excited for Christmas already) and so the shops cash in on that. Fair enough in my opinion, they are a business after all. I just joke about being a scrooge and everyone close to me just accepts the fact that Christmas doesn’t excite me as much as them.

SpatzieLover's avatar

We made a promise to our son that we’d put up our Christmas village on All Souls Day Nov 1st so indeed we’ve begun our Holiday decorating already. The village is up and I plan to have some garlands up this week, too.

We like the early decorations and carols, as we enjoy Christmas and winter. We’ve already begun planning where will take our son to see lights at malls and area businesses.

As @J0E stated above, Christmas is what you make it. We prefer to celebrate and enjoy whenever we can.

airowDee's avatar

Commercialization bothers me.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Not really. The fact the commercialisation of christmas starts in bloody August bothers me.

DominicX's avatar

No, it does not. It never has. Christmas has two facets: the secular side and the religious side. I celebrate both and my family always has. I have no problem with either one.

I don’t give a shit about what’s “pagan” and what not…who cares? That would factor into the secular part of the holiday. The religious part of the holiday still stands. It has two sides. I don’t know why people think it can’t exist having two facets.

Additionally, I love everything about Christmas, both the secular and the religious, and I don’t plan on giving it up any time soon. You don’t know how excited I am to return to San Francisco this December and go shopping at Union Square with my boyfriend. I can’t wait. :)

inkvisitor's avatar

@JLeslie I agree as an adult, but growing up in an a-religious household that word didn’t mean anything…

JLeslie's avatar

@inkvisitor growing up in an atheist Jewish household that is why the word did mean something to me. Christmas decorations were to enjoy and admire, but were not part of my household. Typically, the only people I hear saying, “aww you can have tree it’s secular,” is the Christians. When you say a-religious do you mean if your family is asked what religion are you? They reply, “none.”

J0E's avatar

It doesn’t matter who tells you the tree is secular, because it is.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Yes, it bothers me a lot and also has pretty much ruined my enjoyment of the holiday.

Perhaps it’s semantics, since when you talk about “secular” symbols like the Christmas tree, Easter eggs, bunnies, etc. you’re talking about something outside mainstream religion, but the fact remains that they are religious symbols and thus not really secular at all. Some people still practice paganism and find meaning in those symbols. If asked, I would say the Christmas tree is not secular, because it originated in my religion. What it stands for has meaning to me and other pagans, even if it is “meaningless” in other religions.

JLeslie's avatar

@J0E BUT, the Christians adopted it into the Christmas holiday. They fight to put their trees up if you try to take the right away.

inkvisitor's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah, none at all. Not anti-religious, just a true lack of. I am grateful for it, but it gives me a “weird” outlook on people and society I suppose.

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