The holiday season was once a time to bundle up next to a fire and be grateful for all you have, but that’s not the case in the 21st century.
Christmas was originally celebrated to remember the birth of Christ and gifts were given as a way to help celebrate the holiday. What was once a time for love and happiness has now been replaced with greed.
Even Thanksgiving Day, a time dedicated to showing appreciation is cut short by Christmas consumerists with early Black Friday sales. Most families used to cook an elaborate Thanksgiving meal and sit by a fire to play games or watch movies, but now spent their Thanksgiving evening camped out in the Walmart parking lot to be first in line for that new flat screen TV.
As the demand for Black Friday shopping continues to grow, multiple large retail stores decided to open up on Thanksgiving Day, including Walmart, which opened at 6 p.m. Many families had not finished Thanksgiving dinner by then, but the line outside of Walmart was still hundreds of people long. Whatever happened to spending holiday time with family?
Every aspect of Christmas is now a marketing deception, produced by companies to get the consumers ready for the holiday spending season.
The limited time Starbucks cups seem like holiday themed gifts, but are really a reminder to come back for the eggnog, gingerbread and peppermint-flavored drinks.
There is even a website, countdowntoredcup.com that displayed a timer counting down the minutes before Starbucks would begin selling their holiday-themed cups once again. There are 13,000 likes on the Facebook page, along with comments from people expressing their love for the holiday cups. Because of this build up of excitement, people are more likely to buy more Starbucks coffee during the holiday season.
According to the National Retail Foundation, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on presents and decorations. Although it is good to be a giving person, the amount of money spent on Christmas is excessive. Maybe instead of spending an unreasonable amount of money on presents, families could save that money to do activities together or go on an affordable family vacation.
Rather than focusing on selfish desires, one should be grateful for the positive aspects of their life. If you think about life before all these new inventions, people got along just fine and actually spent time with family, not the strangers in a Walmart parking lot.
Happiness isn’t about the items we have, but the people we pass time with. Once we can accept that and refuse the unnecessary commodities of this century, we can be happy. So for this holiday season, try spending more time with your family and less time writing a Christmas list filled with electronics.
Alexia Neal can be reached at email@example.com