Christmas brings out the child in all of us. Yet, as the years go by, we notice that Christmas wonder slowly melts into greed and material needs. Christmas seems to be absorbing other holidays. Holiday deals and sales now start as early as September, Christmas is by far the most profitable time of year for corporate America; when people are giving, that always means they are spending.
“I remember a time when people were shocked at Christmas celebrations before Thanksgiving—now it’s happening long before Halloween,” teacher Jori Turpin said.
America ranks second in terms of Christmas spending, with the UK claiming the highest. It was a close race, the US was a mere 50 dollars under the UK, with a national median of $392 spent per person.
According to a NS Times survey, 70 percent of NS spends over $500 on Christmas, with over 27 percent well into the thousands.
Despite these large percentages we see present in NS homes, a significant number believe that people spend too much on the holiday—with 61 percent agreeing that Christmas is too expensive.
“Christmas is definitely more commercialized than other holidays. Compared to them, Christmas is an explosion of celebration,” freshman Kaje Nielsen said.
That may be fine for the families who have the money for the annual splurge, but many families in America don’t have that luxury. What about the single parents who have to take extra shifts to pay for a decent Christmas? What about the kids who wonder if Santa doesn’t care about them when they see how much the other kids got?
Yes, Christmas truly is a wonderful time of year that softens even the coldest of hearts. The wonder and excitement Santa brings to children is truly a gift in itself. But with the average American living comfortably with food on the table, Christmas is held to a higher standard than it used to be.
Why? Why has Christmas evolved into a time for corporate America to pull out all the big guns on us? Is it truly as evil as it seems?
“[Corporate America] has capitalized on the capitalization. They are always pushing the next big toy and the best things. They create a want, which they will make a need,” said Walmart retail worker Cindy Christensen.
Christmas is marketing gold; a holiday all about giving makes the perfect opportunity for making money. How could companies not use it to their advantage? Deals like Black Friday contrast Christmas ideals with greed.
“[During the Black Friday event] a couple years ago, two ladies got into a fight. The one lady had a two year old in her cart, and as they started fighting the cart got knocked over and the kid hit his head,” Christensen said.
Despite the greed and stress the holiday season brings, it is a special time of year. Not all believe the ‘new and improved Christmas’ is bad.
“Along with other things in our generation, Christmas is evolving, becoming more commercialized, and I don’t really think that’s a problem,” junior River Dillman said. “It’s evolution, you can’t avoid it and it’s not going to change.”
Over half of the students at NS agree with Dillman, stating that the new commercialization of Christmas is just due to its maturity.
We wouldn’t see this change if the Christmas spirit of giving wasn’t present. As the standard of living rises, so do the prices.
There is joy in giving. If there wasn’t, the holiday season wouldn’t be such a booming market.
“We make it possible for them to get what they need for a really nice day,” said Christensen, “whether it be for a tree or food or presents, we take pride in that.”
Ultimately our personal Christmas experience is totally up to our individual and family beliefs and preferences. Its up to you how much commercialization you want in your holiday season.