COLUMN: The problems with over-commercializing Christmas


Destiny Blanchard, Columnist

It seems like every year between mid-October and early November I hear the same things. People complain about seeing Christmas decorations in stores and about how Christmas celebrations keep being pushed up earlier each year. To be fair, the complaints about this are valid. I saw Christmas decorations up in Walmart and a few other stores in the first couple of weeks in October. And it seems that since Halloween has ended that has been a cue for most companies to start pushing their holiday products and merchandise.

A couple of days ago Starbucks released their red holiday cups and holiday beverages. They’re one of several companies who have been transitioning into Christmas mode especially to prepare for Black Friday later this month. I never personally had a problem with seeing Christmas decorations and products early in the year, but I understand those who are annoyed by this.

Many people believe that the best time to start their Christmas celebrations is after Thanksgiving is over. I’ve even had some people say to me that Thanksgiving needs the same amount of appreciation that Christmas receives. I think the problem here is not that Thanksgiving doesn’t receive enough attention but that the over-commercialization of Christmas has gotten out of hand.

The true problem here is not the occasional person who wants to put their family Christmas tree up in November or the kid who starts writing their letter to Santa weeks before it’s socially acceptable. The problem is the number of companies trying to get a head start on this holiday as a means of financial gain.

Despite your views on the religious connections of the holiday, Christmas is widely regarded in America as the holiday meant for buying and receiving gifts, especially for children. Being that we live in one of the most capitalist countries in the world, it only makes sense that companies take advantage of the fact that families and specifically parents are willing to do anything to keep up with high expectations of Christmas gifts. I remember when I was younger we would get a Toys r Us Christmas catalog in the mail every year, and circle everything we wanted as we turned through the pages.

I think more people need to consider that Christmas is only celebrated as widely as it is in America due to over-commercialization. This is so true in fact that many Americans treat it more as a cultural holiday than it is a religious one, myself included. I do think it is important to combat the idea that the holiday itself is only about buying and receiving gifts. You can do this by reducing the amount we spend on gifts every year, focusing on enjoying the traditions of the holiday with our families, and maybe waiting until we get a little closer to Thanksgiving to start our Christmas lists.


Destiny Blanchard is a senior management major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].