Now that the Christmas season is here, millions of people across the U.S. have taken to the stores to find the best holiday gifts of the year. However, many people think that as the years go on, the true meaning of Christmas is getting lost amongst the retail havoc.
Christmas began as a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. Toward the end of the 18th century, the practice of giving gifts to family members became established, but the tradition actually dates back to the 15th century. Theologically, the feast day of the festival reminded Christians of God’s gift of Jesus to humankind even as the coming of the Wise Men to Bethlehem suggested that Christmas was somehow related to giving gifts.
Now, an estimated 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. For 2018, an estimated $717.5 billion will be spent between the months of November and December among shoppers, according to The Balance.
So the question is: has Christmas become too commercialized?
According to an ongoing debate on debate.org, 78% of respondents have said yes.
“When stores start putting out Christmas decorations in October, it is readily apparent that Christmas has become too commercialized,” one anonymous respondent said. “The focus of Christmas for many Christians in the birth of Jesus Christ, but the commercialization of Christmas has resulted in the focus being put on spending, wrapping, giving, visiting and other merrymaking.”
While other respondents claimed the commercialization has “already happened."
“I almost voted ‘no’ here because ‘becoming’ indicates it hasn’t already happened,” one respondent stated. “The turkey isn’t done being digested and Christmas sales and advertisements have already been running for two weeks.”
Though only 22 percent of people answered no, many were still aware that retailers are playing a role in the holiday season.
“Obviously, the shops do lean into it, but it’s easy to ignore and it does make the air feel more festive,” another respondent explained. “I think it’s nice to decorate and have options for your holidays!”
With retail and advertisements taking over the holiday season, it is clear that Christmas becomes more commercialized every year.