Commercializing Christmas

Georgia Kirkendall

It’s obvious that businesses use world-wide celebratory holidays to bump up a ton in their profit, but how far has commercializing gone? It’s definitely grown in recent years, with special offers around the holidays such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Although, whenever you turn on the TV, be it Thanksgiving or Easter, businesses, mostly car dealerships from what I’ve seen, are telling consumers that they are extending their sale- or starting it early. It’s almost creepy how large dealerships, such as Honda, represent love and happiness as getting a new car. We’ve all seen these gushy commercials, where someone is waiting on their lonesome for their significant other to come home on Christmas Eve, and they finally show up, and oh! With a new car! Now this is the best Christmas ever! It’s sick, and people actually buy it (figuratively and literally). How did society get here? 

First, let’s start with the big man. Surprisingly enough, Santa Claus was not so popular back in the day. That is, until Coca Cola started using Santa for advertising. Santa Claus used to be seen as creepy and grim, until Coca Cola, in its campaigns, gave Santa a makeover, leading him to be the jolly fellow we all know today. Even Rudoph was born from the business world. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created at Montgomery Wards, by writer Robert L. May for newspaper coverage, and it sure was a big hit. More than two million copies were sold that Christmas. Businesses do more than selling though. Macy’s is well-known for their Thanksgiving Day Parade and window displays, which is sure to bring them some big business year-round. Because Macy’s is from the heart, right? 

The subject of commercialized holidays stirs some debate from modern society. Most people that agree commercializing is a good thing, or begets no harm, see advertisements as tradition. It’s always been around, so why not enjoy it, and take advantage of some great sales? On the other hand, commercialized holidays may be perceived as taking away the spirit of what the day is supposed to be all about. Are we the Whos down in Whoville, with all our packages, boxes, and bags? I believe that everyone knows what Christmas and other holidays are supposed to be about, but society tends to stray to things that are more about themselves, and less about the purpose of it all. “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” -Dr. Seus