A Treatise on Christmas

By: Siobhan Rahilly

CHATTANOOGA (UTC/The Loop) – Christmas seems to come earlier every year.  Christmas trees pop up before the fall leaves drop.  Commercials for Christmas shopping begin airing in the late summer.  Christmas shopping itself has become one of America’s time-honored pastimes.

The day after Halloween is literally the day that Walmart begins rolling thousands of Christmas items out into their stores.  Has the emergence of an earlier Christmas season been the effect of a society with less free time?

Kmart encourages shoppers to begin their holidays early by utilizing their layaway program, meaning that parents can multitask by shopping for back-to-school items and presents for the holidays at the same time.  This allows parents to take their time squirreling away those holiday goodies.

The barrage of advertisements for toys, décor, decorations, and every other item that can possibly be associated with the holidays reaches a fever pitch by Thanksgiving, a day that has been co-opted by both Christmas and the NFL.  Our holiday season seems to be longer now, but perhaps more focused on the ephemeral aspects instead of the heart of the matter.

The holiday season is a time when families and friends gather for a quick batch of quality time amidst otherwise jam-packed schedules.  This holiday season may find more people focused on homemade memories than store-bought prizes due to the fragile status of our economy.  Despite the advertising and the stress that holidays can bring, this time of the year seems to still bring people joy.  Plastic decorations, and presents under the tree provide many of the glittering aspects of the holidays.  However, some magic does still come from the interactions of loved ones at this rushed, but still treasured time of the year.