Every year, I never fail to be annoyed with how early it begins. It's as soon as Halloween is over; most stores seem to completely skip over Thanksgiving. They go straight from Halloween decorations to Christmas decorations. I started seeing tv ads for "the perfect Christmas gift" and "K-Mart lawaway" a few days after Halloween. Or was it before Halloween was even over? And now the light rock radio station has already started playing Christmas music! It's not even a month before Christmas, and Thanksgiving is not till next week! It's like Thanksgiving is something to get overwith, if not skip it altogether.
It's obnoxious to me that companies have turned Christmas into a consumerist buy-fest. They've made it all about buying and getting ahead on that long Christmas shopping list and not stressing because you can now get that expensive-looking gift for 33% off. I HATE the consumerist aspect of Christmas because I know that for stores and businesses, it's all about making money.
Now, don't get me wrong. The day after Thanksgiving, I get out my Christmas tree, put up the Christmas wreath, and start listening to Christmas music. And I even enjoy being at the mall around Christmas: seeing the bustle, smelling the Christmasy scents, seeing the decorations, and generally loving the atmosphere. I LOVE Christmas. And I love to buy things for Christmas from those businesses.
But the difference is that Christmas means so much to me because of the celebration of Jesus' birth, whose life and existence on earth as a man gives my life its meaning. I enjoy giving presents to others because it's a way I show love to people I care about, a way to pass on Christ's love and his gift to me. For me, there is deep spiritual meaning in Christmas and in buying presents. For the marketers, there is no meaning apart from a bigger paycheck.
It makes me sad to think about the emptiness of that.
Perhaps I'm being too harsh here. I'd love to hear your opinions about the business side of Christmas. Do they start it too early? Is it okay for people to want to skip over Thanksgiving (whose purpose is to focus on thanking God for all of our blessings) in order to get on to a more exciting holiday that has been consumerized? Do you think Christmas has been over-consumerized?