By Trinity Bentley
The Christmas holiday has slowly become a holiday that many people celebrate, even if they don’t follow the Christian religion.
Although Christmas brings presents and cheer, Christmas is really about honoring the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christian Messiah, but over the years it has become commercialized and people tend to forget the actual meaning of Christmas.
According to Humanreligions.com, the skeptical view of modern Christmas is that the fads, decorations, festive goods and all of these commercial items to make shoppers spend money on overpriced products. However true this is, it has also become a secular social festival. The holiday itself has changed along with society and the people who celebrate it.
Santa Claus is the center image of Christmas time, and according to History.com, the legend of Santa Claus can be dated as far back as the third century to a monk named Saint Nicholas. He was believed to have given away his money and moved to the countryside to help the needy. The anniversary of his death is on Dec. 6, and is believed to be a lucky day to buy expensive items, get married and feast.
Christmas has also given way to a new brand of capitalism: Christmas gift-giving games. Things like Secret Santa and white elephant can feed into capitalistic values. While seemingly harmless, buying gifts becomes more of an obligation through participation in these types of events. The bigger companies benefit, as sales inevitably go up.
Junior Liz Roseman spoke about how she’s noticed that Christmas has become more commercialized.
“The market shoves Christmas everything down your throat at every store and opportunity they possibly can,” Roseman said. “The companies successfully created the environment of ‘needing’ to be festive by decorating for Christmas to an insane extent and those companies make all the money off it. Before the culture of needing to be Christmas obsessed was created, it was not nearly as capitalist as it is now.”
Roseman spoke about how Christmas has become more secular because people who aren’t “religious” celebrate it.
“Christmas has become a secular holiday because it is now not just about Christmas. People are finally becoming aware that Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated or that some people don’t celebrate at all.” Roseman said. “People are becoming more socially aware, and becoming more conscious of others besides themselves or people like them. This has lead to the saying ‘Happy holidays ‘instead of ‘Merry Christmas,’ Christmas has become more and more commercialized and capitalistic over years, with spending being the main event.
Between the ads and the sales that are going on around the holiday season, most people tend to spend more money than necessary.