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Merry Christmas - Has Commercialism Overtaken The True Spirit? - Articles Surfing
So summer is over and autumn is well on its way and with it comes the opportunity for us all to again celebrate Halloween. Halloween for many of us, both young and old, is the lead-up occasion for the major end of year celebrations of Thanksgiving and of course Christmas. But have you noticed what is happening in our major department and specialty stores? It seems that the impending arrival of Halloween is the trigger for them to rollout Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations as well.
Through this ever increasing commercialization the stores now start to decorate their shop shelves with not only the traditional Halloween candy but they also put up Santa Clause figurines and Christmas stockings at the very same time. What caused all this? Can you remember when you were a child when it was customary to allow each separate festive holiday its very own time for celebration before bringing out the decorations and the like for the next special event.
Now it seems that this practice is out with the bath water and instead the department stores cram aisle after aisle with the Halloween decorations together with turkey platters, artificial Christmas trees, decorations and ornaments all of which have been made available at the same time. It makes me wonder if all the major retailers have had a meeting and in their infinite wisdom decided that they will combine all of these individual special occasions into one single giant event! I for one sincerely hope that this is not the case but the evidence out there does not look favorable.
I can still remember from my childhood the fun of seasonal shopping, anticipating the arrival of the Halloween costumes in the stores along with the mountains of candy all under the watchful eyes of the ghosts and goblins. In those days the Halloween goodies did not have to compete for space in the shelves with the Thanksgiving turkey or the figurines of Santa and his elves. *Happy Halloween* merchandise was never to be seen at the same time as *Merry Christmas* goodies simply because these two festive occasions were not ever considered to overlap and were two distinctly separate events.
Traditional stores like Nordstrom and Starbucks held onto this custom much longer than many of their competitors and did not decorate or sell their Christmas specialties until the day after Thanksgiving. You might recall that it was almost impossible to buy a cup of Starbucks renowned Christmas blend until the early morning hours on the day following the Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza (while we were on our way to see the recently strung Christmas decorations at Nordstroms).
It was once a time-honored tradition that the phrase *Merry Christmas* was never heard and Santa absolutely never arrived at the malls until after the Thanksgiving turkey had been consumed by family and friends. Why has the need to increase sales and generate revenue forced us to sacrifice the pleasure and joy found in celebrating each and every seasonal holiday?
We do not have to see Christmas decorations or hear *Merry Christmas* to remind us that we should start buying our Christmas gifts early so as to avoid the last minute rush. Therefore why do the Department stores need to bundle all the separate holiday events into one bulk shopping experience?
At my house we still recognize and celebrate each holiday as it arrives. In October we decorate and prepare for a large Halloween party filled with ghosts, goblins and skeletons. In November we congregate around the dining table to give thanks for the year's blessings and then when December arrives we welcome the Christmas spirit inviting our friends and family to celebrate a Merry Christmas together in our home.
I think it would be wonderful if the retailers would let us have back our Halloween, Our Thanksgiving and Our Christmas. Let us, and especially our children, enjoy the magic and excitement associated with each of these special occasions independently as we used to when we were young.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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