Having braved the crowds of people year after year when doing my Christmas shopping, it never ceases to amaze me just how commercial Christmas has become.
I wasn’t going to write this post, but as I was driving in to work last week, one of the radio presenters was recalling the story of his little boy and the Christmas list he had devised. This little boy wanted 4 things for Christmas
- An X-Box
- An iPad2
- An AK47 assault rifle
- $10,000 cash
Originally I had mixed emotions about this list. First off, I was really concerned about a young boy wanting an AK47 for Christmas! Then I was having a good laugh at the $10,000 cash, I remember thinking – What a smart kid. Then I became a bit disturbed that this is what has become of Christmas.
What is Christmas?
Christmas is primarily an annual Christian celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a public holiday in many countries and is most commonly celebrated on the 25th of December.
What is my problem with Christmas?
The problem I have with the modern day Christmas can be summed up in 2 words – mindless consumerism.
The big department stores all spend up big on advertising at this time of year, in an attempt to convince you to buy the latest and greatest range of products. Before long, you have bought presents for everyone that you know and come Christmas day, you will come home with even more stuff that you don’t need. This just perpetuates the capitalist driven consumer centric cycle into the next year and further erodes the true meaning of Christmas.
This may or may not be true for everyone, but every Christmas I used to collect hundreds of dollars worth of presents, the vast majority of which I used only a handful of times before I either became bored, or found something new and more exciting to play with. I imagine this type of behaviour is repeated the world over and most people will never even think there is anything wrong with it.
The Christmas Economy
From Wikipedia – Christmas is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the United States, it has been calculated that a quarter of all personal spending takes place during the Christmas/holiday shopping season.