Holidays and Our Consumer Culture: The History and Current Trends for Christmas Shopping

2121 Words5 Pages

Holidays have always been known to affect our consumer culture for many years, but how it all began eludes many people and very few studies have been completed on it. Even though some say that the subject is too broad to precisely identify how holidays, especially Christmas, directly affect our market, I have found that people’s values, expectations and rituals related to holidays can cause an excessive amount of spending among our society. Most people are unaware that over the centuries holidays have become such a profitable time of year for industries that they now starting to promote gift ideas on an average of a month and a half ahead of actual holiday dates to meet consumer demands.

Religions influences on consumer’s behavioral spending habits have drastically changed throughout the past centuries. Christian’s rituals of holidays such as Christmas were once only demonstrated by worshipping God and attending Church Masses and services in early years. Their behavioral habits can be understood by their spiritual philosophy of the spirit, God. Hegal, a philosopher, argued that “spirit” represented the essence of freedom, distinguishable from the individual “self.” (Lindridge 2005). This belief prompted people to focus more intently on their religion then on the actual idea of buying gifts for the holidays. Christianity worship particularly was a time that was meant to set a time away from the markets or business’ and a time for one’s soul to repent. Often time services would be held for worship, not only Sundays and holidays, but as well two to three other days during the working week. This custom lasted for many years among the religious groups while the markets struggled to stay productive.

Fairs, markets, a...

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Picture 3: A Coca-Cola Ad from 1936

Picture 2: A New York Cathedral

Note 1: Courtesy of

Picture 1: Melaka Christian churchyard filled with merchants.

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