Christmas loses its meaning due to commercialization

Lasirra Hines, Blue M Editor-in-Chief

The day after Thanksgiving marks the day to start setting up for one of the most popular Western holidays: Christmas. Stores break out the decorations, the faint sounds of Mariah Carey can be heard in the distance and of course sitting at home, watching your favorite TV show when suddenly a commercial pops up talking about “The Best Christmas Present for…” and “Holiday Deals.”

This trend of commercialization of holidays has existed for decades. In 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt even extended the Christmas shopping season by a week when he officially moved up Thanksgiving celebrations to the fourth Thursday each November. The connection between capitalism and Christmas was inevitable and is the cause of the heavy commercialization. The capitalist system that the country uses devalues anything that isn’t related to buying something for the holiday.

“Extensions of holiday seasons and advertising using holiday iconography is all a byproduct of the capitalist system we’ve placed on ourselves in where profit is placed above anything else in terms of value,” junior Ethan Martinson said.

Christmas is traditionally a Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. There are many values associated with the holiday, including: faith, family, love and gratefulness. With the shift away from gathering and generosity to perpetually filling the pockets of companies for materialistic happiness has caused anguish amongst some.

“Seeing how it [has been changing to be more] focused on [things] like gifts and presents and you have to buy this,” senior Kendal Palmgren said, “[It’s] a very stressful thing. [The meaning has] sort of been lost.”

Commercialism dominates much of the holiday season, as well as other holidays such as Valentine’s Day, increasing profit made by corporations. It’s not very likely that Christmas won’t be commercialized, but the meaning that many share doesn’t have to be lost. Depicting the values that Christmas is associated with such as community for religious families, keep the story and value alive.

“I think it’d be cool to see a commercial [centered around] community. [It] demonstrates loving others,” senior Emma Sturm said. “There’s lots of commercials about [toys] but [the most] important thing to me about Christmas is community and getting together to remember who Jesus is and what he expects.”