Saturday 01 December 2007

Commercialization Of Our Holiday Spirit

As the Christmas holiday season fast approaches for those who choose to celebrate this festivity, so does another busy holiday shopping season for many business merchants. Sadly, the commercialization of the holiday season is not new. Even the custom of sending holiday greeting cards, which once began as a personalized exchange of messages of goodwill that dated back to ancient Chinese times, was commercialized by the modernization of the printing press and the development of lithography that eventually led to the introduction of the first commercial Christmas cards in England in 1843.

Last month, while many in the US celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, most US merchants were busy striking sales deals on the following Black Friday, a secular non-holiday invented solely in the age of commercialism. In Canada (where I live), many retailers have already started their Christmas sale last month and some have even advertised their Boxing Day deals a whole two months early! I cannot help but chuckle each time I walk by a large sale sign advertising Boxing Month sale—not Day, not Week, but Month! Unfortunately, this is irrefutable proof that our holiday season has been lost deep in the black hole of modern commerce, in an age when we choose to celebrate not the holiday spirit with our family but the best deal we can find with our shopping.

By Philip Jong • At 12:01 AM • Under Column • Under Life • Under World
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