What is Christmas?
Before starting this controversial debate, let’s first define what the Christmas celebration is all about. Christmas, as we all know, is a Christian celebration that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, and it is celebrated traditionally through the idea of bringing family, friends, and people together, and encouraging kindness and goodness. This is the basic idea of the Christmas celebration, however over the past century, things started to change, thus changing this pure image of Christmas into a new commercial one amongst the new generation.
The Impact of Commercialism and Consumerism on society during Christmas
Did you ever feel the need to buy gifts to specific people, due to obligations or just to avoid embarrassing moments? Since when was Christmas all about the gifts? The thing is, nowadays this holy celebration has become an extremely commercial opportunity for businesses to make profit. The human race has turned into a commercial consumerist society, which continues to encourage this mass production of cheap products, thus helping this ongoing commercial cycle to continue and grow.
“Santa Claus” – A Symbol of Commercialism?
Has it ever occurred to you that the existence of “Santa Claus” has been invented for a reason? Since when is there any link between Jesus Christ and Santa Claus? Exactly! There isn’t. Santa Claus is just a made-up fictional character made to encourage this on-growing market of commercial activity, making parents feel obliged to buy gifts for their children, or even family members to avoid disappointed faces. Today’s children, and even adults, don’t appreciate the sentimental value put into hand-made objects or even Christmas cards; they desire more-and-more, the more expensive the merrier. We have to stop. It is not about how expensive or about how up-to-date the gift is; it’s the thought that counts which is why simple greeting cards should be enough to convey this warm feeling. We all know that a simple card is not enough to give someone because it is embarrassing and it will seem like you “cheaped-out” on them… People created this social rule, so only people are able to destroy it.
The Negative Impact of Social Media on Christmas
It’s not that simple. Nowadays, even a simple greeting is commercialised. Aren’t you simply tired of those forwarded Facebook messages that people just send to their whole contact list? Where is the sentimental value in that? How is that supposed to make someone feel special or loved on Christmas day? People don’t know how to express their love anymore to one another in a true way, in fact, because of the enhancement of technology and the agglutination to social media, people don’t even bother bonding with their family and friends anymore. Christmas has become just another reason to dress-up and take pictures to post on social media, to show-off their materialistic goods.
The Waste During The Holiday Season
Another commercial aspect of the Christmas holiday is the food. Everyone is desperate to make as much food as they possibly can to put on the Christmas table – for the grande feast. We see emptied supermarket shelves, and endless queues at the cash counters with stressed clients buying more than what is needed – mountains of groceries and products in their carts. This, of course, brings us to the heart-breaking fact that “waste” doubles during this time of year, which is shown through a recent study saying that in the UK, 270,000 tons of food is thrown out during Christmas. It is a famous family tradition to take one whole day, if not, two days in the kitchen to make plenty of food to put on the table.
The Cruelty behind the beautiful illusion of a Christmas Tree
Christmas’ famous symbol is the Christmas tree. Everyone has to have a tree to decorate and put the presents under, however, do you know how many trees are being cut in just one holiday season? An article in “Ora de Sibiu” tells us that 56.650 pine trees were logged in Romania in 2018, by just one company, more information can be read on this page: https://www.oradesibiu.ro/2018/12/05/romsilva-a-stabilit-cati-brazi-taie-si-scot-la-vanzare-pentru-craciun/
Isn’t this just cruel? We are annihilating our beautiful nature off our mountains, leaving parts of them completely naked, just so we can have a tree in our living room for a few days? What about after the holidays… you just throw it out, don’t you? If you don’t already feel guilty then you must visit some mountain sites in Romania, it is completely upsetting to see wretched nature ripped off its trees, solely to quench the thirst of those seasonal consumers. This happens world-wide during the Christmas season. We must, although, give credit to those who do indeed wish to make a difference, and opt for plastic tress which they could recycle every year, or buying potted pine-trees which could be planted in a garden after that, encouraging afforestation.
Let’s Fix This Together! Let’s bring The Real Christmas Back!
It is not too late to stop this. This ideology of turning Christmas into a materialistic holiday has been debated for many decades, and one of the most famous movies that has tackled this topic is “The Grinch”. People need to start appreciating hand-crafts because those are the only goods that truly show thoughtfulness and love, because someone indeed took time to make that object while thinking of the receiver. Christmas is about generosity in the sense of putting a smile on the faces of less-fortunate people. Parents have to teach their children that Christmas is not only about buying and receiving gifts, and that the proper way of celebrating is to be thankful for what you already have – your family. Family is what should be celebrated, the fact that you are together enjoying the little niceties in life – only and only that will bring true happiness. We need to stop encouraging and feeding this on-going consumerist commercialist society, that feeds on the money received during this period, and focus on what’s really important – the religious meaning of this holiday and the heart-warming message to what really Christmas means, love and kindness to all people.