Can’t wait for commercial Christmas

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

A Facebook friend says he done with Christmas, tired of all the commercialism. The last straw was NBC’s broadcast of the cutting down of a giant pine tree to take to Rockerfeller Plaza.

I had a problem with that also. Why not put an artificial tree there and reuse it every year? Leave that poor old tree alone. It’s big and old and cleaning a lot of crud out of the air each day.

I’m personally not done with the commercialism part. Christmas came earlier this year than last, or it feels like it, but why not? It’s a great time of the year in a spiritual and economic way.

Retailers cannot wait to get to Christmas after lagging sales in the summer and fall. Black Friday is when the cash registers go into overtime.

In a society built on commercialism and consumption, manufacturers and retailers cannot make it when people stop buying stuff.

So, in the USA and most other parts of the world, without consumerism, there is no manufacturing, no jobs, no profit, no sales. The economy is based on what we are able to spend.

Some spending is required to stay alive, obviously, but the wealth of an economy is defined by how much is being spent for goods that are wants, not needs.

When sales decrease, everything decreases, including newspaper ads. Even the perception of decreased revenue can affect that.

This area is on the brink of a booming economy with Dow Chemical moving its headquarters here and most of the plants expanding their capacity. Companies cannot hire fast enough.

Yet, there remains a perception that we are hurting economically, and that perception by itself hurts sales. Christmas has a way of letting consumers’ hair down. When they let go of their money, it creates more wealth in the community as every dollar they spend turns over multiple times.

Something has to change their perception, which is Christmas. The sooner we get there, the faster the economy starts turning in overdrive.

Those who are adamant about the true meaning of Christmas are right. It is meant to celebrate the birth of Christ. In a vacuum, that would be enough, but in the real world, the way a consumer economy is structured, things are more complicated.

Presidents Day wasn’t created for mattress sales, either, but that’s the way it turned out.

So, even if you are a traditionalist, which is great, look at some of the sales that will save you a lot of money on items you have been wanting for a long time or really need.

I’ve been buying major appliances during Black Friday sales for a long time. I got my big TV like that for an incredible price.

“Call me the grinch, if you must, but the increasingly blatant commercialism earlier and earlier each year can just be crammed up someone’s ... .” my Facebook friend posts. He gets carried away sometimes.

It’s just a big tree. They cover the cutting of it each year about the same time. It takes a while to move it to New York and set it up.

That’s why an artificial tree would be so much better. I know that its’ manufacture destroys part of the environment (what doesn’t). But after that, it can be reused for years, and the big old trees can be left alone to grow even bigger and older.

That’s the only change I would make. The rest of the commercialism can stay.

If you want to see a really big tree that nobody has cut down, head to your nearest shopping mall, like Brazos Mall in Lakes Jackson. On the Sears end, there is a beautiful tree that barely fits in the mall. It’s huge. It’s worth a visit just to snap a picture of it, or a selfie with the tree in the background.

“They’d started putting Christmas stuff out at the beginning of October at Target. I enjoy the festivities and decorations and whatever, but yeah, it’s beyond nuts,” replied the friend’s friend.

It is, and it’s wonderful. Bring on the Christmas music.