The Commercialisation of Christmas

I haven’t entered that phrase into Google, partly because I’m time poor and imagine it would generate millions of results, partly because I don’t need Google to tell me how abso-freaking-ridiculous Christmas has become to retailers.

After a few years hiatus, I’ve come back to loving Christmas. It is definitely a completely different kettle of fish when you have children. But I don’t need it shoved in my face, or my son’s face, starting in SEP-FREAKING-TEMBER!

Yesterday I walked into KMart and was hit in the face with Christmas balls.

My husband and son are Catholic, I’m technically not, but I do enjoy church, I do believe in some basic Christian principles. I believe there was a man called Jesus. Whether or not he was resurrected to sit at the right hand of God, I don’t know, that’s where the Catholic Church and I have an issue (albeit a great big freaking issue).

I’m not going down the path of “Christmas is a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus and people should remember that” here. For many it is very much about the birth of Christ, for others it is an excuse for a holiday, and for families to gather, eat, drink be merry and give each other nice, if not over the top, gifts (seriously Bunnings? Dad wants  a $4000 ride on mower for Christmas? We live in a unit! And don’t get me started, Lexus, with your bow-covered SUV commercials!).

My favourite holiday, when we lived in the US, was Thanksgiving. Because it had all the qualities a holiday should have – families getting together, enjoying home cooked meals, giving THANKS for all the blessings we have. MINUS the presents and the over-the-top commercialisation of the event. No pressure to get The Perfect Gift. Just people, enjoying the company of others, and being THANKFUL.

I’m the first to admit I went overboard with my son’s first Christmas. I didn’t realise how much so until he started unwrapping presents, and didn’t stop until New Years Day (6 month olds aren’t the fastest gift unwrappers).

Yesterday I was reminded that Christmas isn’t about how much we spend on him, or how many or what toys he gets, it’s about us teaching him why we celebrate Christmas and what it should mean, whatever that is to us. That’s only going to get harder the longer he’s exposed to “Christmas” for 4 months of the year.

Christmas is December 25th. Not September 28th-January 1st. I’m sure the human race would survive, and still spend plenty of money, if Christmas decos rolled out, say, December 1st. To be fair to the retailers, I’ll give you a whole month, you can start on November 25th. I see absolutely NO reason to start any earlier than this. Can you give me one?

When do you start your Christmas shopping? How much do you spend on your kids?

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One thought on “The Commercialisation of Christmas

  1. I could be wrong here, but… I seem to remember that in the States we didn’t start pulling out all of the Xmas stuff in the stores until the day after Thanksgiving. What is that? Black Friday or something? But here in Canada, I remember things being pulled out as early as August!

    In the States Thanksgiving is such a big holiday & it holds its own against Christmas. But here in Canada, Thanksgiving is in October & it doesn’t have near the same weight or meaning as it does in the States. I miss that. Then, there’s a Canadian holiday in November but it’s not big enough to hold off Christmas. What about holidays there between now & Xmas?

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