There’s No ‘Christ’ in ‘Xmas’
Dina Hassan

Capitalist Christmas has No Borders

Only a capitalist driven concept of Christmas could exist in a non-Christian Country

Indeed, Christmas, one of the most popular, if not the most popular holiday of the year, is driven heavily by advertisement to encourage consumption of goods. At its core Christmas is a religious holiday, but this ‘Capitalist Christmas’ that has an underlying existence in today’s world, is not just in the West, but even in countries where people do not celebrate Christmas.

How does one convince the population that Christmas is a special time of year that is a great opportunity to buy gifts for you loved ones? Like what we have studied in with early Hollywood films and other popular culture, its about selling an appealing lifestyle to draw in an audience. You cannot sell the religious qualities of Christmas to a population who do not practice Christianity. It is streamlined into simply getting people to want to be a part of something. It helps that Christmas is close to New Years. Malls and Stores are able to utilize the time of year to offer sales, pampering the consumers to convince them that hey deserve a treat. Plus its easy to attract people who have kids with all the Christmas lights and toys. It is an interesting example of how in a vacuum trying to sell Christmas is not different than trying to sell anything else in today’s retail and consumer landscape.

Take for example this promotional flier for a Christmas event that an Thai Mall, called Central Plaza is trying to organize. They are inviting people to decorate a Christmas tree, with attractions such as a celebrity appearance cake, and a small parade. In the West, one would say that this event is trying to use the appeal of Christmas as a bait for people to come to the event. In this case, where Christmas has very little sentimental value, due to people not celebrating it, it is the opposite. In this case, they are using a celebrity, food, and the appeal of this event being significant all as tools to hopefully draw in people and solidify the event.

It important to point out too how this synthetic holiday is successfully implemented. Malls and stores are noticeably busier during this time, Christmas music is played, and Christmas decorations can be noticed in many public places. Christmas has, been made by corporations, as an appealing holiday, having an affect on people’s lives, and without any religious sentiment at all. They have offered Christmas, and people want to partake in it.

It is a testament to the power of advertisement and perception. The way films, music, video games are intentionally constructed to trigger a certain emotion to the audience, the corporations have intentionally and successfully created Christmas in a non-Christian country, by investing money every year to convince people that it is a day of the year worth reaching for you wallet.

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