One of the biggest complaints about any holiday is how commercialized it is! That’s the topic of this week’s Sunday Seven.
Ever get the feeling that some holidays are nothing but attempts at money-grabbing by retailers or greeting card manufacturers? I found a list of 25 commercialized holidays and that got me thinking about which holidays I think are the most overcommercialized.
Would your list agree with mine? I suspect we’d all have the first few in common. But I’m curious to know which holidays you think have been made into excuses (or requirements) to spend money to the point that the day’s true meaning takes a back seat.
Here’s my list:
7 Most Over-Commercialized Holidays
No real surprise here, I suppose: when retailers start putting decorations and merchandise for Christmas out before Halloween has had a chance to happen, there’s a big problem. Add to that the fact that companies prefer to ignore the “Christ” part so as not to offend customers who are “Christ”-mas shopping makes it clear that the day’s true meaning takes a back seat to the cash register in the retail world.
2. Valentine’s Day
Just because I’m single doesn’t make me a love-hating curmudgeon; it does make me somewhat glad every February 14th that I haven’t been under the pressure to buy the “perfect” gift for a loved one just because a calendar says that on this date, I need to “show off” my love moreso than on any other date.
There are retail establishments that appear out of nowhere just for Halloween. That’s a good sign that the focus is a little too heavily about money.
4. Grandparents’ Day
With no offense intended towards grandparents out there, this is a completely unnecessary day. Grandparents are already mothers and fathers; that’s pretty much the first requirement before someone even has the opportunity to become a grandparent. I see people all the time these days wishing first-time parents a happy mother’s or father’s day. One doesn’t have to be the child of a person to send such a wish.
5. St. Patrick’s Day
In Ireland, which is where most unsuspecting celebrants believe St. Patrick’s Day originated, the color associated with St. Patrick himself is blue, not green. If that little fact alone isn’t enough to convince you that this day has become too commercialized, you haven’t paid enough attention to the sea of green — and what people are spending to create it — every March.
6. Memorial Day
No Memorial Day is complete without big sales designed to get people to buy up food, beer, grills, outdoor furniture and pool equipment to make sure that fun is had by all during that extra day off every May. Unfortunately, all of the partying completely ignores the purpose of the day, which is remembering those who’ve died serving our country. That more somber remembrance, it seems, doesn’t generate sales.
7. Fourth of July
When I was growing up, you could count on a tired old commercial that was several years old and poorly done popping up every May: it promoted a local fireworks store. Drive around your neighborhood — at least, those neighborhoods in which fireworks are legal to purchase and shoot by consumers — and you’re likely to find fireworks stands everywhere. Then there are the Uncle Sam costumes. The cookouts. The greeting cards. (Who needs a July 4th greeting card?!?) For people wanting to celebrate living in the greatest country on the planet, it sure is easy to forget about America in the race to buy up party favors.
That’s my list: what would make up your list?