The Commercialization of Christmas - Essay Example

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The word Christmas draws its name from the mass of Christ. The day was set a side to mark the celebration of the birth of Christ, Which is believed to have happened 2000 years ago. It was probably designed to be the alternative to the so popular pagan festivals, which was celebrated on December the 25. …
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The commercialization of Christmas The word Christmas draws its from the mass of Christ. The day was set a sideto mark the celebration of the birth of Christ, Which is believed to have happened 2000 years ago. Although it never existed, it was probably designed to be the alternative to the so popular pagan festivals, which was normally, celebrated on December the 25. However, most of Christmas practices are drawn from pegan festivals were simply incorporated into Christmas. Others like exchanging of gifts, making fire logs and decorating trees among others were common practices in the winter. In addition, they existed long before Christ was born. As Christianity spread across different parts of the world, so did its significance. Adding pressure to Christians on the need for its celebrations, this was marked by buying of gifts and decorating of trees. This resulted to the commercialization of Christmas since the demand for Christmas gifts during Christmas season presented ready market for business to boom. This paper, therefore, seeks to explore the traditions of Christmas and how it has been commercialized by advertising and promotion. The roman church, in the recent past, has succeeded in making December 25 a celebration to mark the birth of Christ replacing all other pagan festival that were mark on the same date. However, Christmas is marked base on the same belief. It is celebrated differently in different parts of the world. In Great Britain, Boxing Day is one of the traditions marked on the Christmas season. On this day, boxes of alms were opened in churches and distributed to the poor. This was done whilst singing the Christmas carols, making carols part of Christmas music and long held traditions (Nissenbaum 100). In Scandinavia, during winter there are a times when the sun would not shine for a certain period, and on the return of the sunlight, Scandinavians would hold a festival called yuletide. In this festival, log of Yule would be put on fire, and people would come around the fire and hold a celebration (Kelly 125). This was done to remind the Scandinavians that the warm summer will surely return. This became part of a Christmas celebration, though not with the same meaning as the Scandinavians, since Christmas is incorporated in other festival practices. The tradition of Christmas tree decoration is believed to have its origin in the Scandinavian ritual, where Scandinavians used to tie apple to trees branches. This also entails the roman festival of saturnalia, which in involve decorating of the trees with candles (Kelly 127). Not only is Christmas a mixture of so many different tradition, it has become a critical business. Commercialization of Christmas started as early as the 1990’s. These are some of the Christmas commercials in the 1990’s that help shape the modern Christmas celebrations. Most nations encourage the celebration of Christmas with the observation of Christmas practices. This is because sending of the Christmas cards is part of the Christmas traditions in most part of the world. Christmas themed postal stamps are highly marketable at the time. Most postal customers often uses this stamps to mail their Christmas cards, Hence, making this a commercial strategy for postal companies seeking to make massive profits (Nissenbaum 111). Secondly, Christmas cards are also part of Christmas practices. It illustrates the message of greetings to the community at large. They feature commercial design, artwork relevant to the season and are purchased in large quantities (Canada 55). The tradition of sending cards has been so popular to the extent of E-cards. This is one of the emerging trends of marking modern day Christmas and its inline with the advancement in technology of modern technology (Canada 56). Companies such as Coca-cola are some brands whose advertisements in the early 1990’s helped in shaping the modern day Christmas. Coca-cola through its advertisement in the 1990s credited in depicting the modern day Santa Claus as an old, jolly, fat, and fellow with red and white robes (Schuh & Saunders-Smith 78). Santa Claus used is endorsed with young women before the Coca-Cola Company brought this idea into the lime light. European Christians adopted the use of candy sticks to decorate their Christmas trees. By that time, candy sticks were only white in color (Watkins 15). However, through advertisements, there was a need to make them attractive to consumers, and hence the addition of the color red. They can also be made white with red strips. In conclusion, Christmas commercialization did not happen by an accident, but because there were voids vacuum that needed to be filled. This vacuum occurred due to the ever-growing popularity of Christmas and the traditions, customs and symbols that accompany it. However, adverts and promotions such as those that include the winning of vouchers, electronics, and the need to send and buy gift added much pressure on Christians to go on a spending spree. This increased the rate of Christmas commercialization since almost all companies want a piece of the Christmas profits. Works Cited Canada H. Joint Christmas Promotions. Ottawa: Heritage Canada Foundation, 2007. Print. Kelly J. F. The Feast of Christmas. Chicago: Liturgical Press, 2010. Print. Nissenbaum S. The battle for Christmas. New York: Vintage Books, 2007. Print. Schuh M. C, Saunders-Smith G. Christmas. Bloomington: Capstone Press, 2001. Print. Watkins J. L. The 100 Greatest Advertisements: Who Wrote Them and what They Did. London: Courier Dover Publications, 2005. Print. Read More
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