Christmas now about spending money, not about family

Alyssa Benes and Alyssa Benes

Every year around this time, I feel like I’m being attacked by Christmas.

And it’s not a good feeling.

Ever since October, different stores and companies have turned into Christmas-promoting machines. [And I’m talking strictly Christmas because it seems like every other holiday this time of year is ignored or barely mentioned unless you or someone close to you celebrates one of those holidays.]

Every year, it seems like this happens sooner and sooner. I remember as a kid, all of the Christmas stuff started coming out after Thanksgiving. Then it became earlier in November. Now, it’s become October. Thanksgiving is seemingly nonexistent. Is Halloween going to be next?

Enough is enough.

Nobody seems to care about what Christmas is about anymore. Now, this season is about saving money while spending money, bragging about the money saved and making money.

Money.

What happened to Christmas being about spending time with family and friends, giving and the birth of Christ?

All religious aspects aside, the seemingly simple concepts of spending time with loved ones and giving are completely overlooked.

For example, Black Friday: It’s a ridiculous concept that’s entirely about money. People could argue that this fulfills part of the giving aspect of Christmas. I disagree. Why wake up early, shove your way through crowded stores and wait in ridiculously long lines just to save a little bit of money? Doesn’t trying to save money defeat the whole purpose of giving? Don’t get me wrong, saving money is great, but I don’t think that we should be so driven to and set on saving money when it comes to giving. I thought that giving was supposed to be selfless.

Maybe I’m wrong.

When I was younger, I remember driving to my grandparents’ house on Christmas Day and seeing literally nothing open. No fast food restaurants, no grocery stores, etc. Literally nothing except maybe the occasional gas station. I would ask my parents why nothing was open, and their replies were simply that it was Christmas, and nothing was open on Christmas so that people could spend time with their families.

Things have drastically changed.

My family still goes to my grandparents’ house on Christmas, but instead of seeing every store or restaurant closed, I see quite a few open.

This could be an attempt to not impose Christmas on those who don’t celebrate it, but why is that the only step we’re taking? And why are people who do choose to celebrate Christmas working and not with their families all day?

Since the beginning of November, radio stations have started playing Christmas music. Even before Halloween, I was seeing Christmas-themed commercials. If, as a society, we’re trying so hard not to force Christmas on people, why is keeping a grocery store on Christmas open the only thing we’re doing? Earlier and earlier every year, we’re shoving Christmas down the throats of even those who do celebrate it through marketing and advertising.

The marketing and advertising is how companies spend their money to get us to spend our money and therefore, how they make their money. By advertising earlier and earlier every year, they’re getting consumers to think about spending money.

It all comes back to money.

Companies want money, so they spend a ton of it on advertising only to make it all back and then some. It’s a genius plan, but I don’t like it.

I love Christmas just as much as anyone else, but I like to enjoy Thanksgiving and Halloween as well.

Sadly, I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon. Someday soon, I expect Halloween to disappear just like Thanksgiving has.

That’s a really sad thought, but since all anyone cares about is money these days, it really wouldn’t surprise me.

Respond to Alyssa at

[email protected]