BY JESSICA PETT
Christmas is a holiday that was once both a religious holiday and a cherished, family-filled time with memories and tradition. Now it is cursed with the obsessive need to give and receive material items. A once holistic, heart-warming holiday has become commercialized.
Consumers of all shapes and sizes pile into shopping malls and stores across the world to find the perfect Christmas gifts for their loved ones. Retailers begin preparing for this hectic time of year months in advance, stocking their shelves full of Christmas décor, gift sets and wrapping as early as October. Christmas music rings over the speakers in every store, Santa Claus awaits the arrival of young children to eagerly read their enormous Christmas lists and shoppers scurry around the mall racing to get what they need before it is gone.
It is not that many disagree with the fact that this holiday has become commercialized, it’s that people don’t seem to care that we have lost what this holiday is meant to be about. Retailers have brainwashed consumers into thinking that it is OK that we have changed the meaning of Christmas over time.
A 2013 survey conducted by PEW Research Center showed that 69 per cent of Americans attended religious services on Christmas Eve or day during their childhood, but only 54 per cent of those people planned to attend the year they took the survey.
Just like the way Valentine’s Day brought on a whole new meaning over time, Christmas too has drifted from its roots. If nothing changes soon, the true meaning could be lost forever. Younger generations may not even understand how Christmas came to be and may only see it as a time to give and receive presents because that is what they have witnessed all their lives.
In order to stop this from happening parents need to start teaching their children the true meaning of Christmas. For those who are not religious, this means instilling the values of family, kindness and that it is better to give than receive. Children may have to stop solely believing in the jolly old man with a beard and start believing more in the spirit of Christmas.