It’s the day after Halloween. You step into the mall in hopes of finding a nice shirt, a pair of shoes, or maybe the perfect birthday present for your sibling. The first thing you see are Christmas lights, strung from ceiling to floor. You see a giant Christmas tree, elegantly decorated with red and gold bulbs, the skirt of it surrounded by a myriad of expertly wrapped presents. Kids wait in a line that appears to be a mile long in order to sit on Santa’s lap, and tell him what they want for Christmas. As you walk past stores you see that each display window has been transformed into Santa’s workshop, showcasing their best or most popular product, claiming that it’s exactly what your loved one would like for Christmas. For my entire life it’s been like this. When I would watch TV around the holidays as a child, the commercials would feature a seemingly infinite number of toys that would be perfect to ask to get under your tree. It seems as though as time has continued, Christmas has become incredibly commercialized.

The main goal of a business is to get people to buy their product. And what is the time of year when people buy the most? The holidays. So why not urge the public to buy Christmas presents three months before the actual occurrence of Christmas? To me, it seems that Christmas no longer holds the value that it once held.

My grandparents have told me stories of their childhood, where they got an orange and a toothbrush in their stocking, and their presents were a bare minimum. They were completely content, so why wouldn’t we be? The media hypes up Christmas and makes it all about the materialistic view. And it’s not only directed towards children. Jewelry stores air commercials pressuring husbands to buy their wives the newest diamond necklace or diamond earrings for Christmas, because it’ll really show how much you love and appreciate her. Or how car manufacturers air commercials where excited parents rush outside to find a new car with an enormous bow on it parked in their driveway, a Christmas present from “Santa”.

Now, I’m not saying that presents are a bad thing. I, for one, turn into a four year old when I rush downstairs and see all these presents under the tree with my name on them. I’m simply making the observation that Christmas is not exactly what it used to be. And no, I’m not talking about the religious aspect. For me, Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. It’s so cozy and cheerful, and it brings so many people together. And as a child of divorce, togetherness is always something that I have had a deep appreciation for. And with the intense commercialization, I feel as though we’ve lost some of that.

So this holiday season, enjoy Christmas and enjoy your gifts. But also remember to celebrate family and friends, to appreciate what you have, and to remember the true values of Christmas.

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