Christmas consumerism & Christianity.

Dec 14, 2012

Christmas picture

It’s Christmas! This means different things to different people. Those who are inclined to a bit of religion spend the holidays celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Others will flourish to the shops to buy presents for loved ones, and probably return to the shops after Christmas to save in the January sales. Many people though, and me included see it is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with friends and family.

The tradition and practise of Christmas has changed quite drastically over the last hundred years or so. Of course, it began solely as a religious celebration. For a large percentage of Brits however, it is simply a consumer’s holiday, a truly capitalist occasion. A time when happiness can be achieved, simply buy the latest toys and IPods. Probably the most symbolic change to the Christmas tradition came in the early 1900s when Father Christmas himself changed his set of clothes from a green outfit to a red one. A result of Coca Cola’s input, who managed to change Santa’s green clothes to their famous bright red.

More recently, companies have jumped on the Christmas bandwagon by releasing gadgets and toys before the Xmas rush. It would be fair to say that these companies are now driving the bandwagon. The new colourful range of IPods and the re-release of the iconic furby are two examples of companies adjusting to the Christmas market.

The shamefully bad ‘talent’ show that is Xfactor is also now a mainstay in the Christmas charts. For the past, well what seems like forever, but probably five years of so, Xfactor contestants have dominated the Christmas charts. Again this year I’m sure we’ll see at least two of their ‘stars’ in the top ten.

I think you will tell from my tone that this certainly isn’t something I look forward to. Then again, I’mnot religious. Being a non-believer I’ve never seen it as a time to say thank you to the lord.

Maybe, if I don’t like the consumerism of Xmas, not the religious history, I should just ignore the holiday. Maybe? But where would the fun in that be? A holiday from work, to spend time sitting on the sofa, eating good food, and drinking good beer while watching The Great Escape with family. Sounds great. You won’t find me abandoning Xmas anytime soon no matter what I think of it’s character.

George Marsden

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