When Did Christmas Become So Commercial?

OrnamentDo you lament the commercial nature of Christmas? Do you pine for the days of your youth when Christmas wasn’t about buying things in stores, but was instead about family and goodwill?

You’re not alone. Given the state of things — Black Friday brawls, broken family get-togethers, loads of credit card debt — it’s easy to be bitter about Christmas, to wish for Christmas the way it “used to be.” What happened to the old fashioned Christmas of our parents, where it was all about family and where presents had meaning to them?

Whatever happened to that Christmas? And more importantly, when was that Christmas, exactly?

Deck the halls with advertising,
Fa la la la la la la la la.
‘Tis the time for merchandising,
Fa la la la la la la la la.  

I am a child of the 1980s, and the Christmas of my memory was a purer, much less commercial holiday than it is now. I remember decorating the tree, visiting relatives, eating cookies, and fondly watching some of my favorite Christmastime TV fare: How the Grinch Store Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Every year, I would laugh at the antics of the Grinch, delight in the soundtrack, and smile when the Grinch learns his lesson in the end: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!” And then there’s hapless Charlie Brown, who groans when he sees Snoopy decorating, “Oh no! My own dog has gone commercial!” Later in the special, Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “We all know Christmas is a big commercial racket” before ordering him to get a “modern” aluminum Christmas tree (in pink!). In the end, Linus has to remind us all “what Christmas is all about.”

As a child, though, I never stopped to think about how old these specials are. A Charlie Brown Christmas was made in 1965How the Grinch Stole Christmas was made in 1966, from a book written in 1957 that carried the same theme. In other words, people were complaining about commercialization fifty years ago!

But if they were complaining about commercialization in the 1960s, that means this consumerist creep began earlier then that. So when did it begin? When was Christmas untainted by this commercial crap?

We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
We wish you a merry Christmas,
And please buy our beer!

Maybe the unadulterated Christmas happened when the baby boomers were growing up. After all, the post-war period was a defining moment in the American landscape. Their Christmas must have been full of Christmas trees, happy children, stockings by the fireplace … and Miracle on 34th Street, which was released in 1947 and became quickly popular at Christmastime.

In Miracle on 34th Street, Kris Kringle, working undercover in Macy’s department store, tells his friend Alfred that “I’ve been fighting against [it] for years, the way they commercialize Christmas.” Alfred replies, “A lot of bad ‘-isms’ floating around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism.” Later, after the famous scene where Kris begins sending parents to other stores for their toys, a woman tells the Macy’s manager, “I want to congratulate you and Macy’s on this wonderful new stunt you’re pulling  [… ] Imagine a big outfit like Macy’s putting the spirit of Christmas ahead of the commercial.”

Okay, so the commercialism-free Christmas wasn’t the baby boomer Chirstmas. Which isn’t too surprising, since Miracle of 34th Street came out nearly a decade after Mongomery Wards introduced what would become one of the crowning icons of Christmas: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Their purpose? To generate sales for their stores.

Christmas comes but once a year,
So you better make hay while the snow is falling,
That’s opportunity calling you!

So when was that pure, unmolested Christmas? Perhaps we need to go back further, to the very origins of our holiday. No, I don’t mean Bethlehem; as any student of history knows, our modern Christmas tradition dates back to the 1800s. Today’s Christmas imagery is loaded with nods to the Victorian Era where many of the traditions we hold dear, from Santa Claus to wrapping paper, were born. Truly, this was where the pure, non-commercial Christmas can be found!

Or not. Victorian Christmas, as it turns out, was very much a manufactured product and it had a capitalist bent from the get-go. Stephen Nissenbaum has cataloged the rise of Christmas in his book The Battle for Christmas. It’s a fascinating chronicle of the way in which Christmas was shaped, and part of that shaping was the need of the people to buy things. In particular, the rise of the concept of the Christmas present — “the kind of gift that could be most conveniently procured through a purchase” — was there from the very beginning. Already by the 1820s publishers were producing fancy and expensive “gift books” and other specialty gifts specifically for giving during Christmas. By the 1840s merchants were using the image of Santa Claus in advertising as a way to entice spending.  In fact, Nissenbaum concludes that in the 1800s, “Christmas became a crucial means of legitimizing the penetration of consumerist behavior into American society.”

People at the time were aware of this. In 1850, for example, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote the story “Christmas; or, the Good Fairy,” wherein the main character laments, “Christmas is coming in a fortnight, and I have got to think up presents for everybody! Dear me, it’s so tedious!” Her aunt responds, “when I was a girl […] Presents did not fly about in those days as they do now.” Later in the story the main character asks her aunt, “But don’t you think that it’s right for those who have money to give expensive gifts?” The story’s theme? Gifts are better given from the heart than purchased from a store.

“Well, I guess you fellows will never change.”
“Why should we? Christmas has two S’s in it, and they’re both dollar signs.”

Okay, so the Victorians did it. They ruined the real Christmas for us all. Right?

Maybe. But before the Victorian Era, the Christmas we know, the one we celebrate and have fond childhood memories of, didn’t really exist. Before 1800, Christmas was a very different affair, one celebrated mainly by the rich via the hosting of lavish dinners and the giving of alms to the poor. And even then, people were complaining. Ronald Hutton, in his The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual year in Britain, documents primary sources dating into the 1600s that record not only traditions of spending and gift-giving engaged in at Christmastime by wealthy households, but also complaints of the skyrocketing expense of meals, entertainment, and charitable gifts to the servants.

So if Christmas has always been so commercial, where does this idea of “the way Christmas used to be” come from?

I think that it has to do with perspective. As children, we were not confronted with, nor interested in, the most “commercial” parts of the holiday. We didn’t know anything about how much Christmas cost, or the pressure our parents were under to buy things. Christmas was the wonderful time when we were given things and saw our families and ate big dinners and danced to Christmas music. Anything having to do with the commercialized side of the holiday—the advertising, the merchandising, the spending—was just part of the background noise. It’s only as we get older that we become more aware of the mercenary side of Christmas, and we mistakenly interpret it as a change in the holiday rather than a change in our own awareness. 

Buying and selling and spending have always been part of Christmas, and so has lamenting about the loss of the glorious days when it wasn’t. This notion that Christmas used to be pure is part of the sentiment built into the very fabric of the holiday. We need to feel like it was better once; we need those warm fuzzy memories of a past that never actually happened. It gives us something to strive for today—futile, Sisyphean, but something all the same.

It makes me wonder: if were we able to go back far enough, would we find the Wise Men complaining about the price of myrrh this time of year?

[All lyrics are from “Green Chri$tma$” by Stan Freberg (1958).]

 ***

Bibliography

Hutton, R. (1999). The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford University Press.

Nissenbaum, S. (2010). The Battle for Christmas. Vintage/Random House.

Stowe, H. B. “Christmas; Or, the Good Fairy.” In J. Charlton & B. Gilson, A Christmas Treasury of Yuletide Stories and Poems (2002). Barnes & Noble Books.

 

About Alison Hudson

Alison is a writer and educator living near Ann Arbor, MI. She blogs regularly about skepticism, games, and the transgender experience.
This entry was posted in History, TV & Media and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to When Did Christmas Become So Commercial?

  1. Nathan says:

    Those “good old days” didn’t exist the way we remember them.

  2. Dave says:

    When I was a child in the 80’s and I heard elderly people talking about the “good old days” it always seemed a bit odd. Were they talking about the Great Depression? WWII? Soup kitchen lines and being drafted, good times, good times.

    • Ali says:

      “Yeah, times were hard, but at least there was Roosevelt. Ain’t never gonna be another one like him in the White House nowadays … “

  3. Dave says:

    I forgot to say I enjoyed this article a lot. Thanks Alison!

  4. Christian says:

    Good article. I read that same book recently, actually. The other part I found interesting, was that when puritans hated Christmas, they didn’t hate a time of family and gifts, but of drunkeness and fornication. What’s amusing is the church groups who continue to hate Christmas, without realising the original justification for doing so.

  5. Nick says:

    No matter how bad things seem, it’s always going to be someone’s “good old days” at some point in the future. NOW will eventually be remembered as a simpler time before the season was so hectic.

  6. Karolyn says:

    As a 67 year old baby boomer, I can say with authority that the 50s and 60s were “the good old days.” It was a simpler time, when most middle class kids did not have to have expensive gifts. Sure, we wanted them but accepted that the family couldn’t afford them. It was fun to go shopping. People didn’t fight over the latest gadget. We couldn’t even shop on Sundays. We enjoyed “window shopping” on Sundays, when we could peruse the merchandise in the store windows and just enjoy the splendor. The big occasion was driving around looking at Christmas decorations. The sheer magnitude of commercialism these days is enough to make one want to hide under the covers for the whole month of December. Unless you were there, there is no way to make you understand just how it was.

    • Christian says:

      Yes, but didn’t your grandfather say the same thing, at the time ? I think you need to consider the point the story makes, you were there as a child, not as the adult you are today. Memory is also not a recording, it’s subjective and can change with time. I have no doubt society has changed, but I suspect the changes are superficial. Christmas was invented to be commercial, and thus will it always be.

    • Reg says:

      Karolyn, you were between two and 12 years in the 1950/60. I was between 12 and 22 and I can assure you that after the trauma of the war and the previous depression, you were experiencing a synthetic calm.

      Toss in the Korean war and the post Atomic Bomb and the Cold War, and your parents were trying to compress as much of the good things of life as they thought you were ever likely to experience.

      There-in lies the problem of most of the baby-boomers. A plethora of everything for very little effort.

      • Reg says:

        I forgot to mention that the US economy was the only one to come out ahead after the war. I guess for the Swiss, selling ammunition to the Germans did not make up for the loss of tourism.

        Of course I’m assuming Karolyn in from the US and I may be wrong in doing so, but the point is that in living memory the oldest days of happy memory have likely come from the US period of which Karolyn speaks. The rest of the world was tired, exhausted, traumatized and broke. Most of the good bakers, cheese-makers and cooks had been killed or maimed and then it started all over again in Korea.

        I have never managed to get my mind around the fact that General Macarthur originally condemned the use of the Atomic Bomb and yet later wanted to use them in Korea. I guess he was longing for the good old days.

        • Christian says:

          I thought Macarthur was called home because he’d basically gone nuts ?

          • Reg says:

            Yeah that’s the story used to cover the fact that he was nuts even before Corrigidor. Bet you never heard of the plot to send the Nationalists Chinese from Taiwan back across the Yalu to attack the Chinese Communists from North Korea?

            Then safely in Brisbane shaking his umbrella at the Aussies staggering out of the Kokada Track demanding they fight. The original Monty Python.

    • Ali says:

      As Christian noted, that’s kind of the point of this piece: we always THINK times were simpler when we were kids, but the primary sources from the time period tell a different story. It was right in the middle of your childhood that Dr. Seuss published How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Was he authoring commentary on a problem that only existed in his head? A Charlie Brown Christmas came out when you were 14 or 15. Was he complaining about a problem that didn’t exist?

  7. Ed Stockly says:

    So what, exactly, is the problem here, for skeptics? Why should we care if cultural traditions surrounding a religious holiday have become commercialized? Do skeptics even care about “the true meaning of Christmas” being lost? Does it matter that people have been complaining about this commercialization for 100s of years? Not sure what the point is here. Although it is interesting that this commercial backlash and longing for the good-ole-days seems to be as much a part of this holiday as the rituals and traditions of the holiday themselves. But do skeptics have a dog in this fight?

    • Reg says:

      My guess is that the “true spirit of Christmas” means something entirely different to each generation and that each insist theirs is correct. And if you disagree, then come outside and I’ll introduce you to the true spirit of Christmas. Yur bastard! 🙂

    • Alison Edwards says:

      Being skeptical is about questioning assumptions and being responsible for one’s own thinking. There doesn’t have to be a winner or a loser; it’s not always a formal debate. Around the holiday, “Christmas used to be less commercial” is a common refrain, even though it’s a claim rooted in flawed memory and mis-attribution of perceived change. We don’t need “a dog in the fight” in order to find skepticism worth applying. It’s enough to be able to say, “I have improved my thinking on this topic.”

      • Reg says:

        Perhaps the confusion surrounds the attitude of giving from the heart without expectation of reward, compared with the prospect of taking as much as we can with EVERY expectation of vast rewards.

        Retailers have long ago conquered any feeling of guilt surrounding giving you a pittance and taking an excessive profit.

        AND nobody wants to be seen as a grinch. Perhaps we need to rescue this abused grinch from defamatory comment by providing him a seat at Christmas dinner where I am assured that the average Christmas Day calories may be as high as 7000.

        Then we need to ask ourselves, is that celebrating the birth of a lowly born infant or is it rewarding ourselves to the point of gluttony?

        Bring Back the Grinch, I say.

        • Christian says:

          Christmas was never a Christian celebration, it was just ‘christianised’.

          • Reg says:

            This may be so but I’m sure there are lots of Christians and pseudo-Christians who think otherwise.

            Have they been deceived again?

            You’ve got to be good,
            You’ve got to be nice,
            ‘cos Santa Claus is coming … tonight.

            Thus teaching each child afresh every Christmas morn that to lie and cheat in the name of Christianity is OK!

            A bit of backing and shunting called for there mate. 🙂

          • Christian says:

            *Grin* yes, apparently in some cultures, kids are actually shamed for bad things they did in the year, before given gifts. The whole Santa thing is inherently dodgy, but it started as a definite plan to control kids better. And I guess that brings us back to the original post. Lots of people may think otherwise, but that does not make it so.

            Of course, what it means to the individual is their business, the only issue is the false belief that there was a time when everyone believed like them.

          • Reg says:

            🙂 ” Yes, apparently in some cultures, kids are actually shamed for bad things they did in the year, before given gifts.”

            Ah well there’s a respectable gesture then?

            A sign that despite their long remembered naughtiness, they will be forgiven and rewarded still. Teaching them resentment and that it really doesn’t matter what the hell they do anyway. 🙂

            Hang about Huckleberry, ” And I guess that brings us back to the original post. Lots of people may think otherwise, but that does not make it so.”

            This is a VERY public display of Christian fervor and its values, you may not now retreat into the home and hearth and pretend it never happened. A true supporter of Christianity would take up the cudgels against such desecration of their most valued principles. (Does that sound a bit over the top?) 🙂 Sorry.

            Not by any stretch of the imagination am I suggesting we should go about chopping down our local Christmas trees. Just a very public symbolic nick might be sufficient. Nor am I suggesting that we register our gruntle today by heaping thick custard on Santa Claus between customers and sharing it on uTube. 🙂

  8. Jamie says:

    Times were simpler 10, 20, 50 years ago. Perhaps there was never a time when it was as simple as we like to think it was, but it wasn’t always as insane as it is now, or will be in ten years.

    The Christmas season now comes hand in hand with fist fights and stabbings for the closest parking spaces and people being trampled to death for black friday deals. Those are the shameful headlines that make all of our hearts sink when we see on the internet, but we have come to accept other dirty deeds as a standard of the American dream.

    Look how big and wasteful our housing has become. Look how big our cars have become, mostly to accommodate how big our bodies and our children’s bodies have become. Look at how big our cup holders have become to accommodate how big our fountain drinks have become.

    The insanity of Christmas is merely a reflection of how bloated, wasteful, and disgusting our consumer society makes us all, the more and more efficient it becomes.

    There is hope my friends. You can make your Christmas and your life simpler if you choose. Set a one or two gift limit, and a spending limit on your significant others and your children. Take time to turn off the computers, cuddle on the couch, light a fire and watch the snowfall. Decorate the house tastefully, not trying to be better than the Jonses. Watch your favorite Christmas movies and sink back into the simple beauty of childhood. Do good deeds for those in need; remember, no good deed is too small. Mostly, avoid the shopping malls; that’s where America has gone to ruin itself.

    Merry Christmas all. The simple life can still be obtained, and the sooner you shed yourself of the waste of materialism, commercialism, and consumerism, the sooner you will realize the American (and the Christmas) Dream.

    • Wow, you sure have a lot to say about “us”. Speak for yourself, please. 🙂

    • DragonLady says:

      If you find things disgusting, don’t participate. Maybe YOUR life is composed of “dirty deeds as a standard of the American dream” but mine isn’t so include me out that “we” and “our” portion of your diatribe. 10, 20, 50 years ago society was so repressive that cancer was a dirty little secret, if you had been raped as child your life was over, and domestic violence was just one of those things to put up with in marriage.

      Nostalgia is not what it used to be.

      • Christian says:

        Well said. It’s easy to see the past through rose coloured glasses. The present is not perfect, but I’d rather the flaws of today which, as Jamie says, it is easy to choose to opt out of, than the flaws of the past, where anyone who did not conform to the ‘norm’ or had misfortune, was expected to suffer in silence, and perhaps in ignominy.

      • Reg says:

        Pardon me DL, it is extremely difficult NOT to participate, given the commercial pressure to ensure everyone does.

        Fortunately I am no longer under the pressure of ensuring the horse poo near the reindeer’s pail passes muster in this land of a midsummer Christmas. It was 41C a couple of days ago, dunno what that is in F.

        In case I ever have to repeat the performance, can you please tell if reindeer poo and horse poo are anything alike? Goat poo perhaps?

        By the way, I was raped as a child but my life was not over. I was much stronger for the experience and murder never once entered my mind, because I was an innocent and remain so by refusing to stay silent when prompted, except when prudence demands.

        Just to continue this subject, I find it most aggravating when people keep reminding others of how badly they’ve been treated in such a situation. Fighting a mental battle in silence and alone should bring the child to the deepest appreciation of what really matters in life. It’s part of the transition from child to adult.

        Teaching children not to depend on other and not to be provoked by others is the essence. Rapists such as that take advantage of disrupted family lives or situations, in my case my father had just suffered a major stroke and I was the second of five boys and 12 years old. The rapist was Rhodes Scholar and a Principal in the Boy Scouts just to bring it into perspective. Now please try and couple this information with that principle of isolation and participation in the first sentence.

        Merry Christmas, even though I don’t believe in any of it. 🙂

        • Christian says:

          I guess it depends on how easily led you are. I tend to follow my own path and ignore social pressure I disagree with 🙂

          41C is about 105F. You can type 41C in F to find out, from google. It does currency conversion, too. I was amused that my Texas friends boasted it ‘gets to 100’ when I first went there, and I found out that was just an average Melbourne summer day.

          I’m sorry to hear you had such a terrible experience, but glad you appear to have overcome it. I agree, there’s a real market in ‘my dad raped me’ booked that encourage navel gazing as well as an arms race. If it helps, talk about it, and anyone who has been so treated, deserves support, but making it a spectator sport is not helpful to anyone.

          • Reg says:

            Thanks C but I do not seek anyone’s sympathy, I was using the example in support of independence and analysis of a situation and why it is so important that children be taught to solve their own problems without the questionable bias of one religion or another.

            I’m sure you’re aware that most religions encourage a subservient lamb like following perspective, encouraging all their little Sunday School flock to obey and not to question, while frowning severely on independent thought. Just like the commercials do.

            The reason they discourage the questions is because they don’t have the answers.

            Conformity rates just as highly in Democracy as it does in that naughty Socialism etc.

            So it’s NOT a matter of talking about “it” it is more a matter of arming the individual in how they may calmly analyze a situation. Oh yes, the dreadful term … “emotional intelligence.” Of course the problem is all the greater in the USA when the well oiled solution resides in the top draw or on the gun-rack.

            We think we’ve got problems? You ain’t seen nuttin’ yet until you’ve seen the 45 on the back seat as the Tacoma father drives off to ask why his child finished up on the wrong school bus. That wasn’t a movie. 😉

          • Christian says:

            I realised you didn’t want my sympathy, I just wasn’t sure what else to say 🙂

            Yes, I guess that the caricature of religions doing that has had some basis in truth and may well still do ( although I’ve never seen it in any Christian church I’ve gone to ). Certainly, I would encourage questions, and have sought to raise my kids to ask anything, because faith is not real, if it hides from evidence or inquiry.

            Have you ever been to the USA ? They definitely have a gun problem, but it’s far from endemic through all of their society. I’ve met a lot of people, across 22 states in the USA, and I’ve only met a few gun nuts. I certainly felt quite safe where-ever I was.

            Oh, I see you have been ? Well, I’ve seen a few things, but I think it’s easy for Aussies to believe the media and assume everyone is armed there. The media definitely exaggerates reality.

        • DragonLady says:

          Reg: please teach classes to the survivors of sexual violence. Recovery begins with the mindset, and *victim* is a term that emphasizes helplessness which is the wrong way to go.Clearly you loathe the whining excuses sex offenders (and others) use as an attempt to validate their reprehensible behavior.

          You exemlefy the fiew that is the point of sentence that mentions “if you don’t like it don’t participate” as I am sure that you don’t go out and madly run up your credit cards to the max buying every glitzy new toy on the market. You take personal responsibilty for your beliefs and behavior. This is the model we should be teaching our children.

          I salute you.

          And I hope they put the Rhodes Scholar Boy Scout under the jail.

          Also, since you ask, equid poo of all varieties is distinctively different from reindeer poo. The balls are a lot bigger, tennis ball sized, more or less, as opposed to jelly bean sized, more or less.

          • Reg says:

            Ah there you are dear DragonLady.

            It’s interesting that so many things in life have problems that reduce to the relative importance of whether to participate in the Christmas frenzy or walk away from it.

            The middle path is the one most often adopted for reasons that range from laziness to thoughts of duty or simply avoiding confrontation. All of them related to setting ourselves what we consider to be a reasonable set of values.

            By that I also mean free of any imposed religious guilt or guilt forced on one by another. It became obvious to me early in life that we are forced to shoulder in isolation, all the really important things in life and yet that’s the very opposite of the supportive society we read about.

            Such problems occur within families as well from far less serious matters than rape or molestation. Insecurity is insidious and undermines the will to trust and learn, always expecting that your teacher or friend will suddenly do a complete reversal.

            So I guess it reduces to provisional trust and maintaining ones equilibrium when we discover that our trust has been misplaced.

            How do we teach that to our children? Perhaps we could begin by dismantling all the hubris behind celebrating Christmas and refusing to participate in its unwarranted frenzy. But that might be seen as a middle path because it’s passive.

            Or we could begin another fairy story that might begin;

            “Once upon a time there was a celebration called Christmas. This was a very happy time and everyone loved it very much but there was a secret about this joyful time that no-one wanted to think about. In fact the whole celebration concealed the wide-spread evil by which its organizers sought to take advantage of the revelers once they had lost their inhibitions. ”

            You see where this is going… 🙂

            Naughty Christmas!!

  9. Awesome article. Just shared with my friends.

  10. Richard E says:

    Nice, detailed and useful piece – thank you!

    FYI “The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain” is by RONALD, not Roland, Hutton

  11. Walter Clark says:

    Alison,
    Great writing. Here’s my favorite:
    “It’s only as we get older that we become more aware of the mercenary side of Christmas, and we mistakenly interpret it as a change in the holiday rather than a change in our own awareness.”
    Our view of the past is very unclear in so many ways. You might want to write an essay on our perception of standard of living. In so many ways life has improved invisibly. Particularly notable is how it improves for those at the bottom compared to those at the top. Where your skill as a writer will be needed is digging up the ways life-style as improved that is not counted by cost. Things like resealable bags. Latches that are easy to work and don’t need replacing, ever.

    • Alison Edwards says:

      THanks, Walter. That’s actually a really good idea. I may have to pursue it.

      • Walter Clark says:

        Here’s a start if you do pursue How Life-Style has Improved That Is Not Counted By Cost.
        It’s an article in a blog devoted to F.A. Hayek. Put this in Google: “Cataloging Our Economic Progress Since 1982”

  12. William Delhomme I says:

    Thank You Alison for this article!!
    I’m actually gonna do a soapbox about what Christmas has to to our society, and with your help, I’ve found Nissenbaum’s Battle and I’m gonna use his insights as a source [among others]!
    I definite agree; it is the AWARENESS that has let me see what Christmas could’ve been, and I’m gonna address it.
    If you can, pleas e-mail me before Friday for good luck, and to say hello, too!!!

  13. Biggiewiggle says:

    I’ve noticed the decorations in shops creeping in earlier and earlier. This year it’s been common to see both Christmas and Halloween decorations up simultaneously

  14. stan says:

    I’m 52 and I’ve never remember my parents or grandparents talking about the, “good ole days”. I do remember my grandparents saying how spoiled we were as kids and lucky but they meant it in a loving way. And we kids understood that we had more than our parents or grandparents who either grew up in the depression or worked through it. But the issue is that the commercialism of Christmas starts way too early. Songs on the radio before Thanksgiving. Decorations and Christmas ornaments and trees for sale in Lowes in Oct. Enough already. The Christmas season should start after Thanksgiving. We never put our tree up until the first or second week of Thanksgiving. When you are assaulted nonstop 24/7 with Christmas even if you don’t want to be, you get really tired of it. You can’t to grocery shopping in November without having Christmas hit you in the face. For me this has become one of the worst times of the year. I can’t wait for it to end. I used to enjoy this holiday, and I still do on Christmas and Christmas Eve, but I am tired of the onslaught.

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