The Meaning of Christmas?

For most people, who celebrate Christmas, it is an extremely wonderful and important holiday. It’s one in which you can spend time with your family and friends, enjoy giving and receiving gifts and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Every holiday season though, it seems like more and more often, people are forgoing the wonderful aspects of the holiday in order to participate in something I like to call…

The Commercialization of Christmas. Think less “Buddy The Elf” and more “Grinch stealing the presents”.

I, for one, immensely enjoy spending the holidays with my family, especially after being in college for so long; the break from my job and demands of school is something I LOVE.  My family is already one that is extremely grateful and not so reliant on gifts. I think many people can agree (especially Alex and Sophie, my group members) that we enjoy the holidays for the little things, not so much, on what we get.

Working in retail myself for a little over 2 years, this will be my 3rd holiday season at my job with New York and Company. I am lucky enough that because we are a smaller store in a smaller mall, we do not see as many effects of “bah-hum-bugs” as you might see in bigger stores or at St. Matts. For the record, I am a “bah-hum-bug” person, but only because of the other “bah-hum-bugs” that I deal with. Reasons why I named our last video project “Christmas @$$hats”. I did not become this way overnight, but through the long, drawn out process of people just being absolutely HATEFUL to each other during the holiday season.

How hard is it to say, “Thank you” to someone working in retail? Or “Have a nice day”. Like stated before, I am very lucky with where I work, and the quality of people that come into the store. Sometimes, despite my best efforts, I cannot attend to every customer in a timely matter. Some people are very understanding, either not in a rush or having worked in retail before (or maybe just a decent human being). But then, there are the ones, who make me want to quit my job and never turn back. Yelling at us when the line takes to long, fighting over clothing, telling us that we aren’t doing our jobs right. This seems to happen more of the time the week before Christmas (sometimes even the day before).

What happened to “Happy Holidays”?

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Somewhere along the line, we started commercializing Christmas, bringing in a bigger demand for deals and steals around the holidays.  Instead of any sort of increase in “joy” or “jolliness”, I have only seen an increase of “greed” and “rudeness”. What is it about shopping and spending money that has people, and families willing to threaten or assault people? (Anyone see that black Friday video from the Mall at St. Matts, if not, look it up RIGHT NOW). Or the fact that years ago, black Friday started at 6 am on Friday, and has slowly made it’s way to 6pm on Thanksgiving (what some of us in retail call ‘Brown Thursday’).

Stores put Christmas decorations up earlier and earlier it seems in the year. Craft stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby start putting decoration up in the late summer, which really exemplifies the Christmas in July idea. While larger stores such as Target wait until later in the fall. I spoke with a friend of mine who has worked at Target for several years about this.

“At Target we had some of the Christmas stuff [as early as] the last week of September,” She says. “But the Christmas stuff all was set two weeks before Thanksgiving. It is a corporate decision, and they send every store the same, for uniformity. It depends on the individual store for any varieties against the plan.”  Just wow.

Not everyone in my group agrees that the early decorating, preparing, and selling can “ruin” Christmas as much as I do, which is why we took to the mall and around town to find out the opinions of others. Alex is pretty indifferent when it comes to the topic, I strongly oppose, and Sophie is all for early “Christmas-izing”.  This is why it was so much fun to check out the opinions of others around Louisville to see if they felt the same.  (Check out our video below for more!)

When I asked my friend her personal opinion on her store’s preparation for the holidays, she had a good point. “I personally like celebrating Halloween and Thanksgiving, so I don’t really love how early it is. I love Christmas, so its just more time to celebrate the season. With it being earlier, it just seems more commercialized and the meaning of Christmas gets somewhat distorted.”

So there you go, readers. It’s up to you to form your own opinion on the topic at hand. Is Christmas in September a good thing? Do you like keeping it in December? Do you believe commercialization of the holidays is a bad thing?

– Katelyn, Alex, Sophie



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