Grace Baek/ Portola High School 10th Grade
December 1st, 25 days before Christmas, stores begin rushing out with holiday sales. Shelves and aisles are packed with ornaments, fairy lights, and Christmas trees-- possibly anything you can think of Christmas themed. From coffee shops coming out with their new holiday special drinks to the newly releasing movies on Netflix, it seems like the whole world is celebrating Christmas. It seems endless, but in just a couple of days, the once overwhelming shelves and aisles are left empty, with not a single item left.
It is evident that Christmas is over-commercialized and that has not been a secret for a long time now. Criticism of the over-commercialization of Christmas is spilling out, especially during the holiday season, yet prices don’t seem to drop.
According to the Pew Research Center Survey, 8 out of 10 non-Christians celebrate Christmas. Although our overspending during the holiday season has made Christmas into the biggest commercial holiday of the year, it has also made Christmas into one of the most widespread holidays that gives the opportunity to spread good words of sharing and community. It’s also the reason why we get a few days off, and that’s definitely not something you should be complaining about.
Some may not know the origin of Christmas, but with so little references to religion in our culture, do Christians want to speak against the few remaining openings? For non-profit organizations that admit Christmas is when they meet their budget, do they want to speak out against people reaching out to others in ways like never before? For children that do not seem be confronted with, nor interested in, the most “commercial” parts of the holiday, do parents want to speak out against them?
It may seem like Christmas has changed throughout the years, but commercialization has been present ever since the Victorian Era, and probably much farther back. As children, we remember Christmas as that wonderful time when families come together to eat big dinners and all dance to Christmas music under colorful lights. However, the older we grow, the more aware we become of the supposedly “dark” side of Christmas, making us falsely believe that Christmas has changed.
Nonetheless, buying and selling have always been a part of Christmas, and so has the lamenting about the loss of its pureness. The notion that Christmas is pure is part of the sentiment built into the fabric of this holiday.
As God created both material and spiritual traits equally, one is not better than the other, but the two are mutually supportive. Sometimes, material traits can represent our spiritual values. We buy presents to express a powerful love and affection for our loved ones, and that is not wrong in any way.
Commercialization will only obscure the importance of the “true” Christmas if we let it go. As long as we celebrate the festive times of joy with our families, remembering what to be grateful for, it is also okay to buy some Christmas ornaments for your tree, rather than curse the darkness of its commercialization.
<Grace Baek/ Portola High School 10th Grade