Is Christmas over-commercialized?

Photo by Tanjila Ahmed used under Creative Commons license
Photo by Tanjila Ahmed used under Creative Commons license

Rachel Whatley, Staff Writer

   Christmas seems to come earlier every year.

   As soon as Halloween is over . . . bam! Our attentions are directed toward Christmas.       Companies prey on our anticipation and use everything they can to get us in the mood and then  some. Even flavors are geared toward the most wonderful time of the year. The power of the pumpkin spice has ended. The time has come for the dominion of peppermint. Peppermint chocolate chip. Peppermint mocha.

   I have yet to hear Christmas carols on the radio, but another medium has grabbed my attention: the television. Christmas-centric commercials are gaining prominence by the day. Marketing companies are pressuring me to buy diamonds (I am looking at you, Zales), whether or not I have that special someone. Toys ‘R Us wants me to splurge for all the kids. Walmart is trying to get me to put my purchases on layaway. “Only thirty-four shopping days left!” they exclaim. “Thanks for stressing me out,” I reply.

   Do not even get me started on the end-of-November Black Friday. Of course, nothing puts me in the Christmas mood more than overzealous crowds and mad dashes. I do not know about you, but I am staying put.

   Has the season of cheerful giving turned into a frantic flurry of seeing who can live outside their means the most? Has consumerism replaced the Christmas spirit? The event that changed the world two thousand years ago has gotten buried in an avalanche of “buy all the things.” Much of the world has forgotten about the true meaning of Christmas all for the cause of shopping. This time of the year is set aside for the birth of the most important person in the world, in all of history – the Savior of the world – yet we are more worried about whether or not will get what we wanted — the iPhone 5, the Kindle Fire, maybe a guitar – whatever the case may be. The world has lost the true meaning of Christmas and turned it into a justification for spoiling ourselves and maybe others if they are so lucky.

   It makes me wonder what happened to Thanksgiving. Where are the Thanksgiving commercials? The turkey-flavored everything? “Who cares?” says the media. I guess they do not have anything to work off of – no gifts, no Thanksgiving carols. Nope, just Christmas.

   I remember last Christmas Twitter was taken by storm by angry teens who did not get what they wanted. “Kids these days,” I sigh. Really? You are mad because you did not get an iPhone? It is so sick. I have never had an iPhone, and I could not care less. Some parts of the world do not even have Wi-Fi, much less what they need. Perspective, kids.

   I will leave you with a final note: just remember who Christmas is really about. Yes, you can buy nice things for your friends and family, and yes, it is a great feeling when you get what you wanted. However, it is about giving, not getting. It is about showing God’s love, not out-buying everybody. Let me put it this way: there is lots of happiness in receiving gifts, but when someone receives your gift for them and their face lights up, that is an even greater feeling.