Christmas Holiday Essay

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Season’s Greetings: The Evolution of the Christmas Holiday Season It’s the most wonderful time of the year—or so we thought. Between all the joy and magic associated with Christmas, it seems almost impossible to be in a bad mood. However, the countdown until Christmas has turned into an annoyance for many. Over the past several decades, the Christmas season has evolved into one of commercialization and debate among various groups and organizations. The creation of fictional characters such as Santa Claus has taken away from the spiritual meaning of the holiday. Corporations have made this time of year another excuse to shop and satisfy one’s family and friends with gifts. Community leaders and officials have changed many Christmas celebrations…show more content…
Santa Claus has become the most emphasized Christmas symbol and has much to do with why many associate snowfall with this holiday (Moraru, 2013, p. 34). First created with the help of Coca-Cola in the 1930’s, Santa Claus has been found by many to do more harm than good (Hodkinson & Stronach, 2011, p. 15). Despite all the joy Santa Claus brings to thousands of children each year, Santa Claus also brings his share of problems to non-Christian families. For instance, Jewish parents often feel like they must compete with Santa by celebrating Hanukkah more intensely, so their children do not feel left out or ashamed of their culture (Abramitzky, Einav & Rigbi, 2010, pp. 613-614). With an intermarriage rate of over 40 percent in the Jewish community, Jewish parents fear their children may abandon their religion once they start their own families (Abramitzky, Einav & Rigbi, 2010, p. 612). On the other hand, others argue Santa Claus has been said to reenact the coming of Christ by teaching children the steps of childbirth and making them wait for the gifts they requested (Hodkinson & Stronach, 2011, p.…show more content…
As a result, while most Christians spend their day off celebrating the holiday, non-Christians are left with little to do as most businesses are closed. This has led other cultures within the United States to form their own unique Christmas traditions. Members of the Jewish community have started their own tradition of spending Christmas Day ordering and dining on Chinese food (Li, 2011, p. 28). Although this seems like a random combination, the ideas behind these customs may actually be an effort for Jews to use Christmas Day to embrace their culture. What makes Chinese food particularly special for the Jewish community is that Chinese food is representative of traditional kosher food (Li, 2011, p. 29). For instance, the wontons served in traditional Chinese culture are similar to a food in the Jewish culture known as kreplach, which are square or triangular shaped dumplings typically filled with ground meat or cheeses (Li, 2011, p. 30). By eating Chinese food on Christmas, many Jewish people feel as if it gives them their own unique identity since Chinese food is not considered American (Li, 2011, p. 29). On the other hand, other Jewish families use Christmas as a day to volunteer or cover shifts at hospitals and police stations so their Christian colleagues can celebrate the holiday (Shandler & Weintraub,
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