Opinion: Commercialism’s Grip On The Holidays


Bella Thi, Reporter

The holidays are here, and with them come the onslaught of commercials and sales that consume these months until the start of early spring. 

We know and love the holiday season—from the cold weather to the feeling of an ending year. However, it’s the time when companies start up their holiday commercials and deals, turning the season into an infomercial where we all feel the pressure to get the “perfect” thing for people we don’t see often. 

When did this start? 

Truly no one knows when it started, however some sources say the first commercials for the Halloween season started in the early 20th century. 

In the early 1920s, advertisements for hundreds of products began to appear in newspapers and on billboards. By the 1950’s, they plagued the radio and TV airwaves, and have moved to computers and cell phones in the present day. With every website click, before each YouTube video, especially during the holiday season, they’re expected during this time in America.

In a way, this set a precedent for how American companies utilize TV and other forms of media to advertise, and how the unending sponsors seem to flood everything from the shows we watch to the holidays we celebrate.  

When the unbearable and dull heat from the summer fades, it’s like an alarm bell for companies to start pushing out fall deals, clothes, drinks, and other things that are available all year round. What’s the difference? Coffee at a higher price, because it’s pumpkin-spice flavored, sweaters priced a few dollars higher because of the color. That’s only October.  


As soon as October ends and November begins, people say it’s the start of the winter season—mostly known as the Christmas season—when mint flavored foods line the shelves and Mariah Carey is playing practically 24/7 in retail stores. 

Why do these things come out quicker and quicker? From the start of August, to wondering what you’ll be for Halloween, to the first day of November when people are anticipating the holiday drinks from Starbucks? Because, money, money, money. 

American society is built on money—built on getting more and more until it’s too much to handle. Consumerism was built on this factor, which never ends. 

Large companies underproduce products—things people both need and want—and sell them at high prices. And when they finally do lower the costs, everyone engulfs them like vultures to the dead. They mass produce unnecessary, small, pointless products and sell them at low enough prices that everyone will have them. And when the next big mass produced fad hits, everything they made before ends up in landfills. 

This is what consumerism does—it makes people money hungry. Commercialism may not seem like a big deal, but it is. It’s right under our noses, and growing. The increase of holiday deals simply shows the need for better things and the need for more. All of it comes faster and faster.

Is this a good thing? Yes, and no. 

People genuinely enjoy the holiday season, the drinks, and the weather, and they thrive during this time. They take comfort in the season, reminiscing on old memories and enjoying time with their families. 

Other people, however, don’t enjoy this time. The stress of shopping, the songs on a loop to the point of great annoyance, seeing people they would rather stay away from—this is not what they want shoved down their throats. 

The rush of commercials, deals, and everything else is constantly happening in America; it was practically built on it. Some reap the rewards while others avoid them like the plague, they’re inescapable nowadays, from podcasts to TV. They’ll continue to go on, and that’s that. 

Is that bad though? Depends on the point of view, and who you talk to. The large spread of commercialism is good for businesses, showing people that these products or services are important and needed. On the other hand, some businesses are using this to push unneeded products, some faulty, and others so expensive it doesn’t make sense to buy them. One would think that bad, no? It’s good, to an extent. 

What one must do is take it with a grain of salt, the high rise for things both needed and unneeded is everywhere—especially in America.