Kelly Hong Editor in Chief
As the autumn season rapidly draws to a close, it means the beginning of the bountiful preparation of food for Thanksgiving dinner, buzzed eagerness for 5 am black Friday shopping, last minute gifts for Christmas Day, and anticipation and spirit for New Year’s Day. All of these festivities add to the overall happiness and excitement of everyone across the country. In order to have a successful holiday season, the need to purchase holiday goods is a necessity. While some may consider the hustle and bustle of the holiday season toostressful and chaotic, a more endowed economy and the spreading of happiness and love is a result that is well worth the effort.
Nicole Jakabcsin Staff Writer
With the holiday season fast approaching, decorations and goods are taking over the aisles of stores across the country. Shelves seem to be stockpiled with every kind of sugary treat, present and decoration imaginable. Front yards are covered in lights and festive music never stops playing. While holiday goods do supplement seasonal spirit, the constant commercialization of these items fails to commemorate what the holidays truly recognize, as they draw attention away from the actual celebrations.
The holiday season is a time for young girls and boys to be pleasantly delighted at the dollhouse or gamestation they have received from Santa; for family members to work together to cook a large, roasted turkey and bake heavenly smelling apple pies; for families to share stories and laughter over a warm, crackling fireplace; and for parents and children to set up a Christmas tree and decorate it with brightly colored ornaments. These traditions are heavily influenced not only by custom, but by the sight of holiday goods in stores as well. From soft Christmas sweaters and fur-lined boots to a steaming cup of hot chocolate and sweet red and white striped candy canes, all these goods are on display in stores and people are then urged by society to acquire such goods.
Displaying holiday items benefits the emotions that are shared during the season, but it also gives an economic boost to society. Black Friday shopping is a period of time when people are able to buy the necessary supplies for Christmas and other goods at a discounted price. While the increase in credit flow is an obvious gain for the economy, a continuous commercialization of the holiday season adds to the donations for nonprofit organizations such as Salvation Army. With an extended period of time, Salvation Army also has longer for people to donate. In addition, business retailers are hiring more workers during the holiday season. According to Business Insider, retail companies took on 141,500 new workers in October 2011. With this many new jobs available, families have the opportunity to earn the money to accommodate for the splurges spent during Black Friday.
The commercialization of holiday products is imperative to a triumphant holiday season where everyone, from older grandparents to young five year old children, will all be happy.
Last year, multiple major stores including Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Target and Walmart opened their doors and their Black Friday Sales at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. Instead of spending cherished time with family and friends, thousands of employees were forced to report to work to prepare for the mad rush of people looking for the best holiday deals. While Black Friday sales are not bad, it is highly problematic that Black Friday no longer begins on Friday. Instead, in attempt to increase revenue, companies have offered annual deals that are nearly impossible to pass up on, beginning the night before Black Friday officially starts. Thanksgiving is quickly becoming less focused on giving thanks for family and friends and instead is shifting to giving thanks for major sales on favorite purchases.
Holiday commercialization is also a financial burden to consumers. Although stores promise optimal deals on high quality products, the reality is that the costs of these seemingly “necessary” purchases can be incredibly detrimental to personal finances. According to Gallup Surveys, last year the average American adult spent roughly $704 on holiday purchases. This is money that could be used to cover more essential costs, however, due to pressures to own the new “hottest toy,” or most advanced electronic, people are spending hundreds of dollars. to fulfill others’ wish lists While there is nothing wrong with individuals trying to make their loved ones happy, the vast commercialization of holidays gifts is becoming an unbearable financial weight.
Perhaps most importantly, commercialization of holiday products is compromising the true meaning of the holidays. Somewhere in the gift-wrapping and the yard decorations and the endless piles of cards, ribbon and bows, the true meanings for these celebrations seem to have been lost. Despite the diversity of beliefs and religions that make up the various days of the holiday season, most of these holidays are centered around cherishing life’s blessings. Yet somehow these values have been pushed to the side as stores across America are bombard people with ads to take advantage of holiday deals.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, and other major holidays right behind it, it is essential not to get too caught up in all of the disarray of the season. It is important to cherish not only holiday gifts, but also the people giving them.