Christmas is undeserving of the hype

Rob Ettman

Is it just me or does Christmas become longer and longer each year? It used to be that the day after Thanksgiving started the Christmas spirit, but now it gets pushed further and further back to the point that there are Christmas stores in the mall weeks before Halloween stores.

The obsession that people in this country have toward Christmas is mind-boggling. People wait all year to celebrate a holiday where they get hundreds of dollars worth of gifts, just to return most of them the day after Christmas, which has become the second busiest shopping day of the year. Leave it to Americans to love a holiday that is supposed to bring out the best in people but deep down inside, all people want are the gifts that come along with the holiday.

Christmas has overtaken this country. Simple objects like candy canes, snowmen and model train sets are now looked at as Christmas symbols, shopping malls become places for maniac gift-seekers who can’t live without this year’s furby doll and for one time a year little kids look up to an obese man instead of laughing at him.

How can we stop this Christmas beast? How we stop seeing holiday and Christmas commercials starting in September? When will Christmas become a holiday again that happens once a year instead of a plague that is killing the sanity of this country? The answer is never. People in this country have become so obsessed with material possessions that they can’t live without and therefore need an excuse to get them. And what better excuse than the happiest holiday of the year to get what they really want?

Christmas is not what it is made out to be in movies and on television. It is not about making people feel better and working in soup kitchens Christmas morning and it is not about people of all cultures holding hands and singing carols in peace and happiness. It is about getting the new I-Pod and then returning it when it is blue instead of pink. It is about getting what you want without paying for it yourself. And it is about businesses making people feel that they are missing out on the next great present if you don’t buy the latest cell phone, this time with the electronic compass in case you get lost headed to the last mall in America that has the new World Series Championship Boston Red Sox monopoly game.

It’s understandable that with all that is going on in the world, like our war with Iraq, the civil unrest in the Sudan and the always lingering question about what direction our country is headed in, that maybe people need Christmas to feel better about their lives. Maybe Santa Claus, Rudolph and Frosty do make people feel better and I am just being cynical. But until Christmas starts being celebrated in the month of December and not after Labor Day (or even those insulting Christmas in July specials and sales) then it will be nothing but another holiday that has been overrun by corporations to feed off the greediness of the American people.