‘Tis the season?

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My favourite time of the year is right around the corner and the idea that Christmas is so close makes me thrilled and excited.  Unfortunately, as times have changed, so has Christmas, and there are aspects that make me really unhappy.

Just a couple weeks ago, just about every store, mall or other building I entered into was heavily decorated. The decorations were so extreme and over the top. What happened to simplicity and elegance? The Christmas carols were inescapable and unavoidable, but I can live with it since gets me in the spirit to the point where I can’t help but feel jolly. The ambiance and music becomes infectious and before I realized it, I was walking all around singing and humming the Christmas carols, too.

At times, I think the holiday has become so overrated and over-done. Its main focus becomes shopping, spending, and buying gifts. Where has the spirit of the season gone? While gifts are great to receive — because who doesn’t like gifts — the idea of Christmas has become more of a marketing and advertising spectacle than the act of caring and giving.  Most places advertise Christmas sales on all sorts of items and use gifts as a way to attract customers to buy more than is necessary. This cuts the effect of the holiday spirit tremendously since the focus has been shifted from giving, sharing and an atmosphere that is festive to one that is based on consumerism, profit surplus, and the marketing industry.

It just takes away the happiness and jolliness of Christmas and then the whole thing can become a flop. A holiday that is supposed to be high-spirited takes a turn downhill because of the shift in what is means now. The whole festive spirit has shifted into something not festive at all. It becomes depressing.

It makes me wonder, what does Christmas mean to you? Are you one of those for whom Christmas means getting in the spirit, spending time with friends and family and actually celebrating the holidays, or one that does all-out buying gifts and falls prey to the market’s demands of consumerism? Have you managed to establish a balance?

Tamara Thompson

Opinion Editor

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