A commercialist’s Christmas

Kale Walch

Christmas today no longer celebrates the birth of Christ as it should; our capitalistic society has replaced Him with their gifts, small things exchanged in an attempt to create some peace amidst chaos.

Retailers pounced on the opportunity and promise that Christmas brought, and today, the success of the retail year often revolves around commercial success at Christmas. Retailers spend millions on advertising, vying for the heart and the soul of the spender, creating such days as “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

Black Friday unofficially began in Philadelphia in 1966, named for the increased commercial traffic on the day after Thanksgiving, and has became the most popular shopping day of the year enticing frenzied shoppers to empty their wallets with “incredible” prices that would be a shame to pass up.

During Black Friday of 2008, frenzied bargain-thirsty shoppers trampled four workers in a New York Walmart, killing one of them. This year, a shopper was trampled by another mob of frantic customers. Witnesses claim that the man cried for help, screaming “I don’t want to die here.” This man survived, but how disgusting it is that consumers literally kill just to save a little money on their gifts and toys that don’t matter.

Americans live and work for their things; success in life too often depends on the extent of one’s wealth, and the collection of fancy things they’ve amassed. The “American Dream” is filled with materialistic ideals that fuel the beast of American commercialism, a beast that thrives off of Christmas.

Only in America would a teenager who already has a fine computer ask for a new Apple iPad for Christmas, or a girl who already has 6 varieties of Uggs ask for the newest and greatest style. Parents can’t resist, and thus the beast of commercialism is served.

Truly, how many people wake up on Christmas morning and thank Jesus for coming into this world before they open their gifts if they have any? Very few! Does God get His own designated day after Thanksgiving dedicated to His praise and glory? No!

Commercialism won the battle of Christmas, successfully claiming hold over the consumer. As a follower of Jesus, I can’t help but feel like an outsider in this strange culture. I likely won’t give or receive many gifts this year, as the gifts don’t count for anything. I will instead celebrate Christmas for what it is, the birth of Jesus.