The businesses that stole Christmas

It’s that time of the year again. Halloween just ended, and Christmas trees are already up. The holiday season seems to grow longer and longer every year, and the natural joy of Christmas is gone. Christmas has now become little more than a contest to find the best deals and inauthentic thrills.

Growing up, I remember my family and myself looking at the Christmas decorations. Snow covered the streets, and everyone spent time with their family.

Every cartoon show had their silly but wholesome Christmas specials, and movies like “Home Alone” were on repeat. I was in full Christmas spirit. A few weeks before Christmas Eve, we would go to the mall and pick out gifts.

Last year, I was excited heading into the holidays, but soon, I realized that Christmas as an adult didn’t produce the same feeling that it used to when I was a child. Nowadays, Christmas is about saving money on useless items, exchanging gifts just to show off, useless technology and companies making an extreme profit.

Companies are pushing endless products down our throats and advertising early into the fall.

Jerry Robinson is an associate at a Walmart in Riverdale, and she stated that decorations for the holidays were put up early.

“Christmas decorations went up after Halloween. I had to come up here and do it myself,” Robinson said. “We do it fast. I think they wanted to hurry and get it on the shelves.”

A lot of companies are starting the holiday season early. Walmart began stocking stores with Christmas goods early in the fall, Amazon is sending out a Christmas booklet and post-Christmas sales are already being advertised.

But Christmas wasn’t always about money.

Georgia State alumna Lenora Blackwood starts her Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving, and she normally spends a couple of hundred dollars on gifts for herself, her daughter, friends and family. Blackwood loves the holiday season, but she admits that her favorite elements of Christmas are slowly disappearing from society.

“The most important part of Christmas to me is seeing the smiles on everybody’s faces when they open their gifts, hearing and watching the movies about the birth of Christ,” Blackwood said. “A lot of people aren’t thinking about the importance of Christmas, which is the day Christ was born. They’re mostly thinking about the shopping, partying, and a lot of kids don’t know the importance of Christmas either.”

Christmas is a massive profit tool for corporations, with most businesses staying open even on Christmas Day. According to The Balance Small Business website, a number of major retail stores will be open on Christmas. Stores like Starbucks, Family Dollar and 7-Eleven are fully operational during the holidays.

In theory, I can understand why companies would want to profit off Christmas. After all, a lot of people view shopping as a major part of Christmas. Maybe times have changed. Some employees don’t mind working on Christmas, especially for more pay, but I think the extra money has nowhere near the same value as spending time with my family.

Christmas was such an amazing time for me growing up. I have a lot of fond memories of spending time with my family, and it is unfortunate that Christmas is corporatized. I hope people get back into the holiday spirit and remember what is most important about Christmas.