Christmas time is around the corner, but its signals are not new to December. In fact, we could witness them from mid-autumn: shops adorned with decorations prepared us for the festive season by tempting us with gift suggestions.
Last weekend’s Black Friday not only meant shopping deals, but the beginning of Christmas shopping time. Everywhere we go, the media reminds us that it is time for Christmas and therefore, time for shopping.
The commercialisation of Christmas has been criticised by many people, especially those who identify the holiday as a religious celebration. Yet, traditional Christmas values are still present and the gift-giving culture associated with them is no more than a way of expressing feelings to our loved ones. A way of giving them a reminder of our appreciation for them.
Presents are particularly useful when we are far from our loved ones. A post-card or a gift can be perfect “ambassadors” of the givers. Our family, friends, or whoever gets our present will have an object that reminds them about us and how much they mean to us.
Finding the perfect gift or the best message for someone else takes time, and time is dramatically increasing its value in the world we live in today. It could be argued that Christmas is there to show us all we can share with others.
It may be very difficult and time-consuming to decide what is perfect for what person. Thus, all the time devoted to look for the best Christmas present is actually time shared with others, and this is certainly a very valuable resource.
In the end, Christmas is about sharing and this is not something that can always be done without consuming. But consumption can take many forms, not only in terms of toys and chocolates for children, or presents for others. The perfect Christmas party outfit and all the festive food have to be purchased.
As a result, consumerism is just a means of enjoying one of the most special times of the year. It is quite common that many family members see each other only during Christmas celebrations, so it’s unsurprising that we want to make the most of it. What’s more, Christmas is not just a day, but an entire season which often starts early and continues up to New Year’s Eve.
Our time is filled with parties with school friends, co-workers, club or society meetings, and so on. It is quite common to have a special gathering with every group to which we belong. Gift exchanges are usually present to make an exciting part of those events.
To sum up, consumerism does not erode the meaning of Christmas. It just helps us to enjoy the time we share with the most special people in our lives.