Future Voices: So, has Christmas lost its true meaning?
PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 December 2014
Since December 1, people across Norfolk have been eagerly waking up, ready to open windows on their advent calendars. But what sits behind them? A simple picture of baby Jesus, a One Direction inspired memento, a small chocolate or a luxury gift of perfume?
It seems our expectations of Christmas get higher each year and what sits behind our advent calendar windows is just one example of how traditions are being sprinkled with ‘Christmas commercialisation.’ A few years ago families would “share” their advent calendars, taking it in turns to open the windows.
It seems that every company imaginable is decorating their windows with newly created tree decorations or wacky, often pointless stocking fillers. For many shop keepers, Christmas is the busiest time of the year, and the lead up to the festive season boosts their sales massively; although, for some shops, the Christmas period can be stressful with larger orders, the employment of extra staff and the massive competition between rival shops. In a short window of time shops have to battle for their share of the £22.3 billion expected to be spent on Christmas this year. Even shops which wouldn’t normally stock gifts for Christmas, decorate their windows in an attempt to draw in extra customers.
It is clear that, in recent times, celebrating Christmas has lost some of its true meaning. Relaxing and spending time behind frosty windows with the people we love the most seems to have fallen behind finding presents for the pets, cooking the perfect turkey or squeezing the slighty-too-big Christmas tree into the car without the top poking out of the car window. Even on Christmas Day millions are expected to leave the dinner table - not for a family game of charades - but to open their Windows computer (other computers are available!!) and start their sales shopping.
But if you peer through the stained glass window of your local church in the lead up to Christmas, you will see that thankfully some traditions do still continue. This year, instead of just looking through the stained glass, why not open the door and partake in some traditional Christmas celebrations like a Christingle service, Nativity or Midnight Mass?
Although it may seem that the commercialisation of Christmas is a negative thing, I still couldn’t wait to open the first window on my advent calendar and start the countdown to Christmas!
Emily Oxbury, 13, Thorpe St. Andrew School