Monday, September 7, 2009

Commercialism of Holidays

We often hear about the commercialism of holidays. We associate it primarily with Christmas. In fact, it's probably true. This is September. School has barely started (and hasn't for some) and already the stores are starting to put out Christmas items! Christmas is a major gift buying and decorating holiday so the stores want to get a head start. Do I think it's right? Absolutely not, but I do know why they do it. But what about the other holidays? Halloween decorations and costumes appear about this time. Thanksgiving and Fall items are in the stores. Valentine's items appear right after Christmas with Easter items typically out before Valentine's Day. Those are all holidays that people associate with shopping. I still don't like it, but I know why they do it.

So what's the deal with today. Today is Labor Day. Not really a shopping holiday. Not a gift giving holiday. So why are the stores commercializing it? Almost every store that is open today is having a sale in honor of the holiday. They all want some of the money that all the people not working will be spending today. As the weekend got closer, the stores suddenly had full aisles of hot dog buns, chips and soft drinks. Not to mention paper plates, cups and napkins. All items designed for one purpose: to commercialize a holiday like Labor Day. These stores hope that everyone will host a backyard picnic and buy their stuff.

It's really ridiculous what happens in stores when holidays happen. These holidays weren't created for the stores, although some of them were moved for them. Yet today, who remembers what Labor Day is for? Who understands the importance of Thanksgiving? I would imagine that more people are familiar with the sales and picnics than the holiday itself.

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