CHRISTMAS, ANOTHER MONEY GRAB.
Well now another Christmas is almost upon us and like all those before starting in the 20th century it is commercialized almost to the point that the true meaning is all but lost.
Christmas is the 2nd most important holiday on the Christian calendar as it is supposedly the birthday of Jesus whom they believe to be the son of God. If I remember right the 25th of December became his birthday in order to coincide with the pagan feast of the Winter Solstices but seeing as I am not to up on religious history I’m not sure. What follows will not be a bashing or a rant on the religious aspects of Christmas rather it will be concerned with the secular and commercial aspects of Xmas.
Ah! Where to start? In the 1920s’ Coca Cola gave us the version of Santa Claus that is now pretty well universal. The fat little elf in a red suit with white hair and beard a twinkle in his eye and chubby red cheeks. This was strictly a marketing gimmick to sell their product. By the way, up until 1903 Coca Cola change its’ formula replacing cocaine with caffeine. No wonder people could become addicted. In 1939 bowing to the retailers’ lobbyists F.D.R. moved and set Thanksgiving to the last Thursday in November to allow for more shopping time before Xmas. Black Friday, the day when retail stores turn into madhouses with shopper fighting over bargains began as a day with an entirely different meaning than having a black bottom line signifying great sales. Black Friday got its’ start when slave traders would offer discount prices on their merchandise on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This was done to help the plantation owners acquire more help for the harvest.
When I was a kid I believed all that good stuff about Christmas, Santa, presents, even going to mass. As I grew older I became as some say more jaded and realized that it really was in Scrooges’ term “Hum Bug” to a certain extent. The one thing I have retained through the years is that Christmas is and rightfully should be a time of peace and goodwill towards our fellow man. It seems though that the goodwill is becoming harder and harder to attain in this world of conflict. Every time you pick up a paper or turn on the news there are riots here bombings there acts of terrorism, protests, multiple shootings, and epidemics. Makes one want to crawl under a rock and hide.
The commercialization of Xmas started in the mid-1920s and by the 50s it was shifting into high gear and by the sixties it was edging into the realm of super charged. As we all know it is the 21st century and Christmas is definitely Xmas especially with the explosion of the computer and electronic fields and with the fact that more people have more money to spend on nonessential toys and gadgets. This old world is becoming more commercialized with each new generation and soon the true meaning of Christmas, peace and goodwill will become the Xmas of give me, and I want. So my friends enjoy Christmas for in the not too distant future it will be totally replaced by XMAS.