It is Nov. 3 at Lenox Mall, and the only colors you see on Macy’s main floor are red, white and green. You walk through the mall, and Christmas trees and model Santas are everywhere. Then you spot a man dressed in a Santa costume, a little boy already on his lap crying because he doesn’t know why his parents are making him talk to this stranger. You go home and turn on the TV; that’s when you see three commercials in a row advertising Christmas sales, Christmas clothes and Christmas presents. Remind me, what happened to Thanksgiving?
When is early, too early? When does commercialization go so far that it completely loses all traditional meaning for the holidays we know and love? Christmas is the most obviously commercialized, but other holidays like Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day have lost much of their deep, traditional meanings also. Part of the problem is that stores prepare for most holidays months in advance, advertising sales and the cheapest prices for decorations and other holiday paraphernalia. For the first time this year, Macy’s opened its Black Friday shopping on Thursday, Thanksgiving. This seems to me like the last straw. Macy’s has commercialized Christmas so much and put such emphasis on the shopping that they’re taking a lot of focus off of Thanksgiving, which becomes more and more commercialized each year to combat Christmas.
Traditionally, Christmas should be for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus, who God sent to forgive their sins, the “ultimate present” as it has been taught in my Sunday school classes for as long as I can remember. Slightly less traditional, but still a classic, the meaningful part of Christmas is supposed to be the spirit of giving. Christmas should be about spending time with friends and family, not hours in the mall shopping. The point of giving presents is to show your love and tell those closest to you how much they mean to you.
By commercializing Christmas, Christmas loses its point. There is too much emphasis on the actual presents and less on the meaning of the presents. People need to work on returning to the original meaning of Christmas and combat the commercialized holiday trend.
Christmas is a genuinely happy, loving time of year that roughly two billion people on this planet celebrate. The problem is, stores everywhere have taken this spirit as far as it can go, and then proceeded to smash it into a million pieces on the head of the dancing, “Gangnam Style” singing Santa Clause that my mom brought home last week.