I know I am not alone in my dismay over the increasing commercialization of Christmas. I do believe that my bitterness may be becoming more noticeable than others around me though, as I have now taken to referring to the huge retail push for sales that begins earlier each year as the pimping of Christmas. That’s right. Retailers are pimping Christmas – selling off the holiday itself for their own selfish purposes with no regard for those hurt by the crime.
I know what you are thinking – pimping Christmas is a victimless crime. It is a supply and demand exchange wherein the consumer drives the market; hence, consumers created the market for pimping and there is no room for complaint. Sorry, I can’t go along with you on that front. The marketing community has become too shrewd; the general population has become too busy trying to survive day-to-day life to actively protest; and, the overemphasis and distortion of Christmas (from a religious holiday and family celebration to a retail extravaganza) has actively served a selfish marketing agenda.
In the beginning, the average Joe or Jane began participating earlier and earlier to save money on gifts. The lowest prices of the season were always reserved for those shoppers who got out into the marketplace first. What was once considered the early start for Christmas shopping – Black Friday – has increasingly become the mid-point for Christmas shopping activities. The Thanksgiving holiday, which has its feet firmly planted in the more reasonable reality of a good meal shared with family and friends, has become dwarfed by the Christmas extravaganza. Indeed, even Halloween has increasingly shared seasonal space with Christmas decor.
The Christmas holiday itself has now become more about the stuff, than the basic meaning or the message of Christmas. Savvy marketing personnel wrap merchandise in sentimentalism and hype and try desperately to be the first to deliver the newest toy or gadget. Folks are pre-ordering months in advance so they can secure heavily sought-out gifts in advance of the holiday. Everything that was historically known as a holiday tradition has been made bigger, better and available with more options. If consumers don’t keep up with the pace they are left feeling like they aren’t really living the way they should be – the way others are living.
Men are encouraged to buy expensive jewelry items, women are encouraged to buy costly tools or equipment, and kids are encouraged to ask for everything and anything under the sun – and all the encouragement results in one thing, the lined pockets of retailers. The gifts have become a more important part of Christmas than the religious and family pieces and now they are the driver of the holiday.
Yes, Christmas is being pimped out. The magic of the holiday has all but been replaced by the drone of sales circulars, emails, radio advertisements, late-night openings, ridiculous promotions and endless commercials. It is not a victimless crime and it is not one entirely of our making; but, it is not entirely outside our control. If you are tired of the marketing community and retailers pimping Christmas put your money where your mouth is and refuse to buy what they are selling. Our collective acknowledgement of the crime and our refusal to allow Christmas to be sold is what is needed to put an end to this madness. Or we could just shake our heads and allow it to continue…the next thing you know we’ll see Christmas merchandise in stores at the same time as back-to-school supplies. I can hear it now, “Ho-ho-ho, merry four months before Christmas!”
Yeah…my bitterness is showing isn’t it?
Day eight hundred and seventy-five of the new forty – obla di obla da