Anderson: Are corporate stores changing the true meaning of Christmas?


Taylor Wypyski

Billions of dollars are spent on holiday shopping every year. Many people spend hours shopping for last minute presents.

Hayden Anderson, Staff Writer

As people all over the nation transition from food-filled Thanksgiving to the Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ, corporate stores all over have already started selling Christmas decorations, foods and other items. From ornaments to cookies, these stores will sell anything Christmas related to put one extra dollar in their pocket. However, while this is helping many stores make money through the COVID-19 pandemic, this “money-making scheme” has made it to where Christmas is not about spending time with family, but instead about which corporate store can make the most money.

In 1966, the American Philatelist magazine printed an article about a new “holiday” named Black Friday. Even though the day had already been associated with sales all over the world, this was the first time that the day had been given a name. This holiday that comes around around Thanksgiving is longed for by many families due to the amount of crazy deals and sales that take place.

While Black Friday is longed for, many people do not realize the strain and time it takes for people to shop. According to Consumer Reports, Americans spend over 15 hours holiday shopping. This is an insane amount of shopping and it happens almost every year during this holiday.

However, Black Friday is just one of the examples of how corporate businesses have ruined the meaning of Christmas. According to, Walmart made 8.4 billion dollars on Black Friday in 2014. This is just one day of the year, which proves that instead of people coming together and having fun in each other’s company as the Christmas season approaches, people spend too much time worrying about the sales that are on the new Playstation 5 or iPhone 12.

These sales and presents are not what Christmas is all about. Christmas is supposed to be spending time with family and not worrying about how much people spend on each other. However, Christmas has changed to the present-craved version where kids are only thankful if they get that new Playstation 5 that their mom got on Black Friday.

As if this was not bad enough, this is not the only time that this happens during the holidays. As the days to Christmas shorten, these stores know that there are buyers that are desperate for those last minute gifts. This means that some stores would end up taking off sales or bumping up the prices of certain items to get more money. According to ABC News, nearly $465 billion is spent on Christmas gifts by Americans. This averages to around $700 per American. This is killing families due to how much people spend on these gifts that they feel will make Christmas better.

In December 2019, Walmart reported making 30.969 billion dollars. With this being a 4.3% increase from the following months, this proves how much people spend during the holiday months compared to how much they spend during a “regular” month. Corporations such as Walmart feast off of the money made from consumers during this time. They put up sales, fancy advertisements and decorations to try to catch the eye of anyone looking. However, we can change the way we spend our Christmas and we can make it to where Christmas is not the money-making scheme that corporate stores make it.

First, families need to start getting together on Christmas and celebrating what Christmas is really about. While many people think that this holiday is about getting presents, we often forget what the true meaning of it is. We forget that materialistic things are not the best things in life. We need to start remembering that not getting that sale on the new Gucci purse is not the worst thing to ever happen.

From academics to extracurriculars, students can get caught up in the many ideals of daily life that they never actually get to spend time with family. No one gets to get with family besides on holidays and the occasional birthday. This is why people need to start implementing this idea of having family time instead of gifts.

Next, stop giving in to those sales that stores give to get money from unsuspecting, desperate consumers. They try to give people sales such as BOGOs and deals off of item y if you buy item x. You do not have to buy that many gifts. Just a few gifts for everyone is fine. If we do not stop buying so many gifts, then corporations will keep doing this as they have that increase in sales every year. If we do stop this, however, we could make it to where they would not take advantage of us consumers and would be able to spend time with family without worrying about how much presents we receive.

While these are the two main ways that we can better appreciate the Christmas season, Christmas will not fix itself on its own. There needs to be time involved for us to be able to fix what has already been broken, and we as a nation need to come together and focus on what Christmas really is about: spending time with family.