‘Tis the season for new traditions


Natasha McCallister

Natasha McCallister writes about how commercialized the holiday season has become. Graphic by Mars Nevada/the Gateway

The holidays are finally here! ‘Tis the season for decorative lights, singing carols, baking, hot coco, and parties. It’s probably the time of year you spend the most time with friends and family. It is the time for being grateful and also the time of giving.  Oh, and the shopping! Let’s not forget shopping.

For some, this seasonal activity provides an enjoyable rush.  Getting that amazing sale for the 60-inch flat screen TV for less than $200 at Walmart – what could be better than that?  Well, the crowds, for starters. The pushing and shoving, and sometimes very rude people who are also trying to get the sale of the season is not worth it for people. If that does not deter the eager shopper, then maybe not finding the gifts on the Christmas list or worse – items have been sold out. With Amazon and other merchants providing great online deals, there is no need to go out anymore.

Black Friday is a day where merchants provide the best deals of the season, followed by Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is a more recent term, first used in 2005. To accommodate the deals online, stores began opening earlier and earlier until stores began opening on Thanksgiving.

It was not too long ago, about 10 years, when only the 24-hour Walgreens or grocery store was open on this sacred turkey day. The only stress there seemed to be was just wanting to get enough sleep before school started again or to make sure to leave room for those five pies in the fridge.

The deals and the early store openings on holidays currently have commercialized the consumer’s time when it should be spent with family. That is, if they are lucky enough to not be at work themselves. More than 15 stores were open on Thanksgiving Day this year.

Nowadays, more college students are having to miss holidays and family traditions because they have to work. Even if they are lucky enough to leave school for a while, their family time is cut short because work schedules demand they be at work during retail’s biggest time of the year.

This year was my first Thanksgiving with my family in four years. My sister and I helped our grandma in the kitchen, we set up the table, and talked about everything. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces and embraced the new members like they have always been there.

Shopping is fun, especially when it is for others but it can have its downfalls. Our holiday season has become commercialized and it is unfair for all the consumers and the employees. This is the time of year to cherish our families and to spend time with the people we care about. Not losing time because of door-buster or last minute deals.