Saturday, October 21, 2006

Has Christmas become too commercial?

Has Christmas become too commercial? by Rob Kingdom


Christmas. Has it become too commercial?

Probably the most popular time of year for many. In England there are the typical traditions synonymous with the season of good will such as the constant re-runs of classic TV episodes, the Queens speech and the mandatory list of films that are always shown Christmas day and Boxing Day.

These traditions have become the mainstay of the British Christmas for many years now and as much as we say they are tedious and annoying, we wouldn't want to have it any other way. It has turned out to be part of the Christmas ritual for many.

With the turn of the 21st century there are however new traditions that are creeping into society. Now we must suffer the odious spectacle of the hype surrounding which talent show reject will become Christmas number one in the charts as well as who has been invited to the Beckhams Christmas party.

It seems that somewhere along the way that the holiday message has been lost and replaced by the celebrity awe struck, materialistic attitudes that are of more concern than the joy surrounding the Christmas period.

Christmas has now become a massive marketing event where companies can advertise their products as a must have Christmas gift. Probably the main exponents of this are companies in the games console industry. Microsoft and Sony both market their products (the Xbox360 and the Sony Playstation 3) to coincide with the Christmas period so that the masses of children will demand it from their parents. Many children now are receiving a new games console as soon as it is released regardless of the price.

It seems as thought the interest surrounding Christmas has now shifted from what the season is meant to represent and has now become a marketing and product focused event where consumer goods are in incredibly high demand and companies will try anything to make a profit during the holiday season.

It would be good to see the old traditions return and for Christmas to be celebrated for the right reasons not as a commercial opportunity. People do still enjoy the traditional ceremonies for switching on Christmas lights on high streets across the country such as the Christmas lights in Oxford Street, London which are erected by Piggotts. Making these occasions more prominent would be a good way to enhance peoples Christmas spirit and for them to realise the importance of the holidays.

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