Christmas becoming a material-based holiday

Mikayla Mason

Remember when Christmas was
all about gathering with your family
and exchanging a few homemade
gifts? Neither does the majority of
this generation.
Nowadays, Christmas time is
plagued with the consumption of all
things material. Children’s Christmas
lists to Santa are full of the latest and
greatest toys and clothes. No gifts are
made by hand, instead, everything
that ends up under the tree has been
scanned, processed and packaged.
The retail sales in the United States
from 2000 to 2014 have increased
from $2 trillion to $3.19 trillion according
to statista.com.
For many, these processed gifts
are all people desire and they feel
no need for carefully crafted, handmade
gifts. But sophomore Lane Ferguson
has a different perspective.
“I don’t think it is all about presents.
I don’t care about that. I care
about being with my family,” Ferguson
said.
In a survey completed by pewforum.
org, all the things that people
dislike about Christmas and the holidays
are related to materialism. The
reason that people dislike Christmas
time is one-third because of the commercialism,
one-fifth due to the expenses
and one-tenth caused by the
crowded stores.
It seems as if the majority of society
has no intention of preserving the
pure family aspect of Christmas. The
stores are plastered with holiday sales
and goods, the TVs are on a continuous
roll of Christmas merchandise
that the viewer’s absolutely have to
own and people are in a frenzy to buy
the best gifts. It appears that Christmas
has transformed from simple
celebrations into a material-crazed
whirlwind.
These materials that are factory
made and lacking personal touches,
are now the way society expresses
how much people mean to them.
“You actually have to give to receive.
It’s not even about what you
give. You can give a gift to them by
being nice and showing kindness. You
don’t even have to give them something.
It’s simple stuff like that…I’ve
seen people that have nothing give
me something just because I showed
them kindness,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson also feels that you should
not even have to do that to show how
much you love someone. For him, it
is not what you give, it’s the act of
giving that is far more important.
Junior, Kari Reavis, has an insight
into how materialism has grown in
society.
“I know there is a bad side, but
for me I don’t see a bad side,” Reavis
said.
Christmas for the Reavis family is
the one time they all get to be together.
The percentage of people who attend
family gatherings on Christmas
has gone down 5% (since when they
were children) said reporters from
pewforum.org.
The holiday was also loved by
Reavis’ grandpa which makes the
celebration that much more special
for her. The negative feeling towards
the materialism in Christmas seems
to not apply to Reavis, but she is still
aware of how people are obsessed
with the gifts they will receive.
“I think it goes with technology.
There is so much new stuff,” Reavis
said.
She believes that with all the new
technology there is more desire, because
there is more material to want.
The materialism of Christmas has
definitely grown in Reavis’ eyes.
Sophomore Nicole Bradford agrees
that materialism is a major part of the
holiday season now, but she is not as
positive about it as Reavis. Bradford
thinks there is more to Christmas
than presents.
She also expressed her view of how
this infatuation with materials during
Christmas time reflects poorly on our
society. “Everyone links Christmas
to presents…[it] has become more
about the gifts than spending time
with your loved ones. Our society is
selfish and cares more about gifts,”
Bradford said.
For some Hanover students, the
materialism of the holiday season
reveals an ugly side of society as a
whole, and for others it is just another
guaranteed part of Christmas time.

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Author: The Hawk Eye

Hanover High School, Mechanicsville, Virginia The Hawk Eye Student Newspaper thehawkeye@hcps.us

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