Many people are beginning to dismiss the rest of the fall season in favor of dragging out their Christmas decorations and sweaters; it seems that every year, Christmas is celebrated earlier and earlier. Just a few days after Halloween, we are already seeing stores selling Christmas decorations and hearing companies’ ads telling us to hurry up and buy our presents for family and friends.
Why is our society so eager to rush into the holiday spirit?
The answer is one that lies behind most of our lives’ motivation: money.
Christmas has become less and less about time with families and more and more about commercialism for corporations, especially in the 21st century. Originally celebrated solely to celebrate the birth of the Christian savior, Jesus Christ, a recent study suggests that Christmas was only considered to be a religious holiday by 1,000 out of 2,000 people polled in 2013 by Pew Research Center, part of which may be due to commercialism. The same study found that 80% of non-Christian Americans typically celebrate Christmas, showing that much of the religious aspect of the holiday has dissolved.
This commercialism started in the late 19th century during the American Industrial Revolution, according the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This historic time period brought with it mass production, a result of which was companies promoting Christmas gift-giving in order to sell products.
After that, the introduction of Santa Clause and the movie “White Christmas” added to the cultural aspect of the holidays.
To this day, the sale of Christmas gifts, decorations, food, and more contribute billions to our economy, giving corporations motivation for commercializing the season. This combined with the cultural sensations of Christmas have really put the green into the classic holiday colors, moving us further away from the family gatherings and original origins of Christmas.