When did the holidays go up for sale?

December 25, 2012

By Jacob Brunette

“Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. Buy now and your cost will be only $9.95.”

Jacob Brunette
Issaquah High School

That is the American holiday season in a nutshell; the time of year in which we celebrate love, peace and incredible savings.

It seems that every year, however, the incredible savings start sooner, and the love and peace get pushed further into the background.

As soon as Halloween is over, the holiday season has begun. Stores start selling Christmas lights and decorations. Santa Claus appears on TV, advertising cars and clothing.

Holiday music loops endlessly in the mall. Every year, the onslaught of commercials starts a little sooner in an attempt to extend the lucrative period of holiday shopping for as long as possible.

To anyone selling something, that is all Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s are: opportunities to turn a profit. But that thought process is missing the fundamental reason for the holidays’ existence.

The holidays are meant to be periods of togetherness and happiness, when families reunite from wherever they have spread out to, and enjoy a couple of days in each other’s company. Winter break is meant to be a period of relaxation and contentment.

Giving gifts is meant to be a sign of how much you care for somebody, not an unfortunate duty or an opportunity to make money.

The increasing commercialization of the holiday season dilutes this experience, turning it into nothing more than a chance to satisfy one’s greed.

People forget the meaning of the holidays, fighting each other for a chance to get the best deals, instead of being happy with what they have.

Of course, many will argue that the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. Why can’t I love my family and still take advantage of low prices? And the answer is you can. It is entirely possible to partake in holiday sales while still adhering to the holiday spirit.

Unfortunately, many don’t, and lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays over the din of advertisements and discounts.

So, next time you see that cool new thing you want for 50 percent off, stop and take a minute to remember what the holidays are really about.

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