The Weekly Gripe

FEATURES

Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox

Christmas is far too commercial these days

58 comments  Add a comment

Can anyone remember a time when Christmas wasn't about hammering the plastic or digging so deep into your bank account overdraft facility that you would still be trying to shovel your way out of debt for the next six months?

Personally I think that the whole commercial thing has gone way too far.  Christmas used to be a time spent with family and friends. We'd of course exchange a few gifts but we would have put some thought into it and it was about giving someone something that you thought they would appreciate.

These days Christmas is nothing more than a massive shopping exercise where stressed out shoppers tear up and down the high street laden with carrier bags full of pre-packaged and impersonal gift sets.  The shelves of the high street retailers are packed with boxes of identical bath sets and useless overpriced gadgets.  It's a kind of weird two-sided feeding frenzy with the high street shops on one side keen to unload all this junk and make as much profit as possible.  On the other side we have hoards of manic shoppers eager to spend whatever is left in their bank account or credit card.

Christmas is too commercial these days So consumer spending is supposed to be good for the economy is it?  But what about the current level of debt carried by people in the UK on loans and credit cards?   What about the recent soaring oil prices which will inevitably lead to increased transportation costs and home energy bills?   What about the state of the UK property market?  We have over inflated house prices and mortgage lenders still happy to dole out mortgages to prospective buyers that can barely afford them!   I reckon as a nation it's time to draw in the purse strings and think a little before hitting the plastic this year.

lining the pockets of some fat cat...

Why not for a change instead of splashing out at M&S and the like; go into your local Oxfam shop or Help the Aged charity shops and pick up a few gifts there instead?   Spread the word to your friends and make this year a charitable Christmas!   Instead of lining the pockets of some fat cat or inflating the share prices of some big brand name you will be spreading a bit of Christmas cheer to someone who really needs it.

After all, that is what this is about isn't it?


Leave a comment

   

BANTA

BANTA
28th Dec 15 12:12

!

-2

The Gloom Begins

Americans call the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional day when shopping for Christmas presents begins, Black Friday!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_%28shopping%29

How apt!
17th Nov 13 12:11

!

2

Samson (Delilah's too busy to post)

It's a real shame isn't it because it 'thins it out' so to speak. When I was a child Christmas was a special time. The build up started in early December and culminated in 2 or 3 special days. Now it is almost 25% of the year and it feels somewhat diluted as a result. Being an adult also has an obvious impact but I do think it would be so much better for everyone if it reverted to the old ways. I'm not a huge fan of 'the good ol days' as they generally weren't that great, but Christmas is one a few exceptions.

Keep it in December and then go at it 100%. It'll be much more enjoyable that way.
15th Nov 13 03:11

!

-6

Greed is Evil

It's November 15th. There's already a Santa's Grotto in our local shopping mall. There should be no sign of Xmas before Advent. Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25. That should be well nigh early enough for the greediest of the commercialists. I sincerely hope the Santa's Grotto fails as a business. It look quite uninviting anyway.
15th Nov 13 02:11

!

5

Alien 3

Oi ! I agree and am sick of having Christmas stuff appearing in September. It's pathetic the way people fall for it. There needs to be a national law against advertising anything Christmas related before November. One day it probably will begin in August. Sad.
3rd Sep 13 10:09

!

4

Oi

Let's resurrect this great gripe as to my complete bewilderment running through Freeview channels this morning (searching in vain for something to entertain through the ever increasing shopping channels), I alight upon bid tv who in their wisdom are running a campaign "let's get ready for Christmas". It's the 3rd SEPTEMBER!!! Sooner or later someone is going to break the barrier and start going on about this commercial cash cow time of year in August. What is the matter with these people? The media have a lot to answer for.
3rd Sep 13 09:09

!

-6

rednose

Yes, xmas is now a commercial matter and the true meaning has been pretty much lost.
7th Dec 12 12:12

!

-11

Who voted for this damn govern

20% VAT - reminds me when the Tories hit us with the heavy duty Poll Tax and it stayed with us forever.

We seem to be giving more and more to the Government and what do they do for us?
15th Dec 10 09:12

!

-13

Who voted for this damn govern

I am absolutely broke too! I cannot afford Christmas and I will be in serious debt when the Sales start.
I will be avoiding Sales in January because we will be hit by a massive 20% VAT on practically everything!
15th Dec 10 09:12

!

-16

xxxx

Reflecting on this article again, YES Christmas is too COMMERCIAL!!l Bl**dy VAT is going up 20% in January 2011 !!!! Is this legal! Tories live in the middle ages - TAX, TAX, TAX and give to the RICH.
It makes me so angry that we work just to pay bills, taxes, bills, taxes and if anything is leftover, well I feel guilty to buy myself the smallest treat! Meanwhile, the filthy RICH demand more from us.

Bl**dy Xmas ! It has made me totally broke!!!
15th Dec 10 09:12

!

-20

xxxx

Why is Scrooge your hero, 'Abolish Christmas'?
Putting Christmas aside, Scrooge was a nasty employer who expected people to work till late for a pittance. All he care for was his money. He never helped anyone and never wanted to.
Scrooge came to his senses, eventually and took the opportunity to help and joined in the Christmas spirit.
I think you are a lonely, old miserable person who hates the world.
15th Dec 10 07:12

!

-6

Abolish Christmas

Scrooge is my hero. Christmas is for sickies. For greedy, nasty people. Think of the billions we are pouring down the drain towards the oriental economies. Xmas is an economic disaster for Britain.
15th Dec 10 05:12

!

-4

Celebrities rule ok

I love Christmas but omg, it has turned into Barbie world. I now Burlesque has become a product added to the Christmas spirit. They talk about burlesque like it is the same as going to the hairdressers.

Celebrities have taken over the UK. Lets call it Celebrities Christmas!!
15th Dec 10 12:12

!

-1

Mark

Quite simple - don't send any Christmas cards. Actually, I haven't bothered sending any for a few years now and thankfully people have almost stopped sending them to me. The eCard equivalents are much more fun and you don't have to carry a bag of old ones up to the supermarket to be recycled in January. Such a waste of resources because some many people feel they have to send out cards because everyone else is doing it. Look, if you were more thoughtful, considerate and friendly to the people you know throughout the rest of the year you wouldn't feel obliged to make such a special effort at this time of year!
13th Dec 10 02:12

!

5

Stop Xmas

How can I avoid sending any Christmas cards this year?
13th Dec 10 01:12

!

5

scrooge

Then don't spend silly amounts on presents then.....simple!
Surely family of all people should understand if you can't afford much at Christmas if not then they are un-greatful!
Or if you feel that strongly about it then don't celebrate it....again....simple!
x x x x
12th Oct 10 12:10

!

-11

Jojo Bizarro

I think 25 December should be renamed Capitalistmas in honor of the vile consumerism that permeates it. The date isn’t even Jesus’s birthday, which was much more likely to have been 17 April.
26th Sep 10 01:09

!

-3

bah humbug

Far too much waste of money and food send the money too somebody in the world that really needs it
13th Nov 09 09:11

!

-10

GRUMPYOLDWOMAN

Funny you should say that GL; I've just watched the "Horizon" programme from Tuesday about black holes, which also touched on the big bang.

The current theory is that everything came from a singularity at the centre of a super large black hole, where the atoms are tightly packed (instead of moving in relatively huge orbits as they do now in normal matter) and where gravity was pretty much infinite. The universe is all expanding away from that event, including lots of smaller black holes.

Astronomers are currently trying to "see" the black hole at the centre of our galaxy in the hope that they may be able to come up with a theory uniting quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity. The problem is that you can't actually "see" a black hole as no light can escape it, but they are hoping to see the event horizon surrounding it.

It was very interesting; try to catch a repeat sometime, or you could probably see it on the iplayer.

grumpyoldwoman
6th Nov 09 08:11

!

2

Gainsborough lad.

Yes, I have to agree, if God and Jesus exist, and God made us all, who made God?

And if someone made God, who made that someone?

I can go along with us all evolving over billions of years from "primeval soup", microbes evolving to humans,

But one thing that does muck up my head thinking about it, is where did all the material come from in the very first place?, the stars, planets, rock, metals, water, where did it all come from in the very first place? there must have been a time when space was empty,

But I will still be putting up the xmas tree in December.
5th Nov 09 10:11

!

-4

x m a*s*

I'm sorry to bust your bauble, but jesus (if there was ever such a person) was not born nor did die on dec 25th of any year. He is a myth, made up from story tellers.
Jesus loves me, this I know, because the bible tells me so....
What a load of cod w.....p !
5th Nov 09 10:11

!

0

Terry

Christmas is too commercial. Return it to a Christian festival for the birth of Jesus. Christmas should be about carols, not dashing around spending hundreds of pounds!
1st Sep 09 12:09

!

-9

Jackieclems

Christmas is a big mixture of traditions from paganism, more modern religions, other traditions and now the great god commercialism. I wouldn't mind if it started in December and carried on until the New Year, but when it starts in August and ends on Boxing Day I think it is taking the mick just a bit. The thing that makes the most sense in our cold climate is that it marks the longest night and the return of the spring. Things start to grow again after December. If you think, long ago, this was important to people when they relied on what they grew for their survival. Now we buy everything in Tescos. I prefer New Year, it is less commercial.
17th Dec 08 04:12

!

1

Modnar, read it backwards

Hi, I have a seen essay tomorrow and have a choice of the topic "The Christian ritual of Christmas has never really been about Christ, it has been hijacked for commercial purposes". I have been rather interested by all the responses I have found on websites like this; from the deeply religious, the 'reason for the season' people, the 'give me gifts and money' mob, the people who are all about the family, as I've seen here; the people that don't care at all, and all other spaces in between. I've haven't always appreciated all that I have received, Christmas or not, but this is not in the true 'spirit', as it were, of Christmas. I have noted that many of what would be considered 'commercial' aspects of Christmas, actually have very traditional and meaningful roots. For example: as many of you would know, "Santa Claus", was derived from the person Saint Nicolas, and part of the tradition of gift giving came from his acts of charity to the poor, and goodwill to all. He has been converted into an overweight, red-coated, commercial character, whose intentions, though they have good origins, are somewhat questionable in the modern world. Or the 'Christmas Colours' and decoration of the Christmas tree. Origins of this are very varied, from Luther, to other Christian historical figures. I found one such explanation that I found satisfactory, that of the 'Paradise Tree', part of the 'Paradise play'. The play was designed to represent the Garden of Eden, and, since apple trees (The tree of Good and Evil) were not available, the people of the 1300s used pine trees with apples hung on them. Even then, it was adopted by the private residences of many people, and became a Christmas tradition. Even good ol' Xmas, which is widely accepted as a commercial representation of Christmas, had good beginnings as a simple abbreviation. X (or Chi) is the twenty second letter of the Greek alphabet, and was commonly used to abbreviate "Christ". Indeed, Christmas has become too commercial.
18th Nov 08 03:11

!

13

Sam, the Tiger

Christmas is what we are and what we make it of it, not the commercial enterprise, not the church, not anyone or anything that foists the spirit on us to intrude upon our genuine self.

What brings on the fuzzy-wuzzy, schmaltzy feelings of soft humanity beneath the holly and mistletoe: the innocuous candles, inexpensive wine, the log cabin warmed by the dying ember in the fireplace, and lots of love and memories moved by the nostalgic strains of the timeless carols and hymns familiar.

Flanders summed it all up. It's all about family gathering. It's that one time of year when we all feel right, just right, gift wrapped in the glow of simple faith, hope and charity. Bah, Humbug! begone.
6th Nov 08 07:11

!

-10

a girl that still beleives

chirstmas is about of alot of things remembering the past and who was there to share it with you. Looking forward and who is going to share chirstmas with you next, what the year has brought. You think about what you went through that year and think next chirstmas is going to be different. you will always have your chirstmas that didn't work out and you will have a chirstmas that went wonderful. Chirstmas might be over rated and gone to far in some ways, but you are brought to grow up to think its wonderful. Its time for family to get together. To see that person that you haven't seen, to see that new baby, to see the boy/girl come back from school, to set on santas lap and tell him what you would like, and most of all to watch a young boy/girl that still beleives in santa and see there eyes glow and the big smile on there faces. Its about beleiving in that there in a God. I hope when you read this that something will come back to you and what you enjoyed. Sure you think shopping is nuts but when your with your family and look around and see that smile are here that laugh you think this is what Chirstmas is about. I hope this year will be the year you belevie again and that is my chirstmas gift to you . MERRY CHIRSTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6th Nov 08 02:11

!

-20

Nix enjoyment

God how I hate Christmas. I've always hated Christmas, even as a child, forced to sit on the knee of an unemployable drunk with bad breathe in the local department store, just 'cos it was tradition. No thank you.

And the kitsch of Christmas how cheap and nasty it is, all probably nowadays made in China.

NO way will I celebrate this "season of good will". I wish no one "good will". "Humbug" is fine enough for the likes of me.

Christmas is crud.
11th Oct 07 09:10

!

-3

Joe

Christmas is awesome. And if it is ablolisehed I will still celebrate it. Who cares what reasons we celebrate or what we choose to buy or not buy. Loosen up and enjoy life. Its not that serious.
11th Oct 07 03:10

!

0

Ban Xmas

It would be a really great thing for the economy if Christmas was actually abolished and all the priests and their ilk promoting it cast into prison, for deceiving the public.

Christmas "all about the family" bull excrement. It's all about making China richer from all the junk badly made goods we will import from her this Xmas. It's all about making some people, importers, very very rich.

Soon all the workers in this country will be on the dole unable to find work, which you lot will have all given away to the far east.
5th Sep 07 04:09

!

0

Flanders

O me god!
I can't believe you people!

Christmas is all about family!
5th Sep 07 12:09

!

0

Desy99

We havnt got a tele, we are not religious in any way, Ive just sent off for a hotel brochure for next christmas as we are fed up with being ripped off, sold junk, having left over food, buying drinks for relatives you havnt seen since last year and we are supposed to enjoy it? We are all lemmings because we are frightened into NOT enjoying ourselves for fear of what the neighbours think.........or the grandchildren!!
31st Dec 06 06:12

!

0

happyface

Christmas 2006

It was my son first christmas but wife has flu my son has a cold and to make things worse a old family memeber turn up christmas day and caused problems. I am 35 now and I remember christmas has a child to be good,a day when everyone made the effort to enjoy themselves. Now has a adult I find myself to not be bothered by It all. Of course for my son sake in the future I will course do all that I can so he enjoys it. I find that christmas has become boring, I dont belive in God etc so the day has no meaning there. So what christmas means to me I suppose Is looking back at the past. Someone ask me the other day, do you feel like Its christmas, I said what should it feel like. Perhaps you are reading this thinking I am a sad moanng git, well probley I am.
26th Dec 06 06:12

!

0

nomskie

the people- christmas has gotten very commercial because all they want you to do is buy things and children are getting to spoilt because they ask for very expensive gifts and nearly always get them so we should calm the adverts down a little.
I ask for alot of things at christmas but don't always get them but I havn't been brought up to get everything I want so there you go

Hope it helps xxx
14th Dec 06 12:12

!

0

the people

Hi my team and I are doung a debate on this christams is too comercial and we are affirmative and were all 11 so can any one help us out
17th Nov 06 12:11

!

0

Matt

I agree with the sentiments that Christmas is too commercial. It doesn't matter if you're on a low income or a high income because it so easy to get into debt these days and loose track of what you are spending. You have to be extra vigilant and stay within a budget. Meanwhile there are big colourful adverts advertising toys and gadgets that you must have and the kids are whining that they must have this and that because all their friends have them. It's ridiculous!
9th Nov 06 02:11

!

0

Bob

Funnily enough when they traced the birthday of one Jesus of Nazareth in historic records,It was found he was born sometime in May.Perhaps that is why some shops start selling Chrissy things so early.Anyway lets get it over with then we can dig in to Easter eggs just after Christmas.It's all very commercial with very little Christmas spirit,apart from what comes out of a bottle.
2nd Nov 06 10:11

!

0

English and proud

"can kiss my my"? Not for the first time, what a shame we don't have our own language so American buttinskis can't.
16th Oct 06 02:10

!

0

janishere

Last night I went late evening shopping at Sainsburys, North Cheam, Surrey. Remember it was only September 25th 2006. My companion and I were astonished to see a whole aisle of christmas puddings and other christmas junk food exactly three months in advance of Christmas. That is, my friends, a whole quarter of a year. We are just about to spend a month on the spanish costas so we found this uproarious. I have almost completely dropped out of the two last Christmases. It hasn't been easy, with a lot of stick from relatives, but it has been worth it. I did not send any birthday cards to anyone, gave no presents, had no christmas lunch, and no tree, so did absolutely zero shopping apart from food for the feast days. On Christmas day 2005 we ate fried chicken and gorgeous fried (home-made)chips. I was happier than I have been at Xmas for many years as a result. As I said there was trouble from relatives, who were so shocked at the lack of a turkey, decs and tree in my home, they invited my elderly mother and myself over to theirs and were equally shocked when we declined. If I outlive my Mum, I shan't do it at all, will probably spend Christmas by the Nile if I can afford it.
26th Sep 06 04:09

!

0

jaq

If Christmas is purely about Jesus Christ's birth, where do all these bizarre traditions stem from? Speak to people about "enjoyable" parts of Christmas and they think of presents, snow, turkey, trees, fat guys in red suits, and other such junk. That seems to truly signify the birth of a kid, 2000 years ago in a hot country doesn't it? And Christmas is the time for family and friends? What have you been doing for the rest of the year. I think of it the same way I think of Valentine's day; a day for people to behave the way they should be all year, but can't be bothered. I say abandon all "religious" festivals and just be a half-decent human being all year. Oh, and I really would prefer to forego the presents to remove all the other parts of Christmas. Finally, just out of curiosity, why is it that only the Chrisitans appear to have such a large, over-commercialised, and irriting festival?
22nd Aug 06 04:08

!

0

Kiwigirl

Each year I find it harder to get into the Christmas spirit.
I think the pressure of having to spend a decent ammount on all the immediate family (there are 21 of us) when you havent got much surplus cash takes the enjoyment out of it. The theres all the cooking, trying to arrange time off work etc. Its all very draining. I am, however lucky that I am quite crafty and I can make a few gifts and cards.
BUT I see so many people time and time again through my work (in a catalogue call centre) that go all out buying the latest designer gear that they order on buy now and pay later its really silly. Then when it comes time to pay for the stuff, they cant afford it and next christmas is just around the corner. Shouldnt Christmas be about giving and NOT how much youve spent???
7th Feb 06 10:02

!

0

i love presents when christmas

I think Christmas is too commercial. As Christmas is mainly based on many traditions like the Christmas tree for example the Christmas tree is supposed to be taken down 12 days after Christmas. Next many people celebrate Christmas for the presents not the real meaning which is the birth of Jesus Christ. A good reason why people celebrate Christmas is that it brings families together.
Many years ago Christmas was celebrated with the family around the table whilst someone cutting the roast turkey. Then if they could afford they would open there presents as a family all together.
nowadays we think christmas is a big shopping spree
15th Jan 06 04:01

!

0

Santa Bleugh

I don't like xmas, either, but we have to put up with it for our older and younger generations' sake, I hope the organizers of this farce, would like to congratulate themsleves for providing a perfect opportunity for anyone who is depressed anyway, to kill themsmves. It happens every year, so I hope they can sleep at nights knowing they have upset a lot of good people so much.
31st Dec 05 08:12

!

-1

tango

oxfam is the harrods of the charity shop world- try scope or somin!
22nd Dec 05 11:12

!

-1

SantaClause

BA HUM BUG!

I hate christmas! I think it is the biggest scam that has ever plagued humanity! Its all about recieving and giving to recieve...

People are all in a mad rush-fizz buying presents for other people ultimately for selfish reasons! What is wrong with people today!? CHRISTMAS IS INSANE!
16th Dec 05 11:12

!

1

ssc

right then!!!! jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way!!
15th Dec 05 10:12

!

-1

luvs kittees

People! c'mon. Christmas is about thinking about others. Not to argue who is right and who is wrong
8th Dec 05 10:12

!

1

drew tinker 15 year old Alabam

I just have to say that you all (most)have your hearts in the right place but let me tell you from my point of veiw.
Chirstmas is a joyous yime of year it is a time to spend with family and share the gifts yes gifts they are great but not the reason for the hoilday. the real reason is the birth of Jesus Chirst and you all should know that . Now your thinking thet he is just a kid what does he know after reading your coments I feel my 3 year old sister knows more than all of you. So think about it we are all most likely of chirstian background and maybe its time we get back to them so we can celebrate the true meaning of Chirsmas

p.s. the english man can kiss my my 100% made in america A!!
8th Dec 05 02:12

!

0

rayman11

It truly is stupid. Sure, buying a few presents is OK, but like 50 of them is just plain stupid, not to mention financially suicidal. And all of the commercials!! Don't even get me started!
6th Dec 05 09:12

!

0

RP

Yes, Christmas is for sad old souls who like to sing-a-long to carols and hymns, which mean absolutely nothing to anyone who has half a brain. If you care anything about anything, you will be at work this 'ahem' xmas and doing some GOOD! Haha doing some good, oh dear, did I say something awfull? Is it really awfull to do some good, or should we all sit at home and watch 'only fools and horses' again and again, and yawn . . . again?!
28th Nov 05 03:11

!

0

Christmas Lover

Christmas is all about the presents, you might say you don't want to give presents but face the fact, YOU LOVE GETTING THEM. So stop complaining and get into the Christmas Spirit
28th Nov 05 09:11

!

0

Plug Top

You do have a choice, let all your relatives know well in advance that your not doing xmas. People are like sheep they just do it every year even though they hate it.....No more xmas's for me i'm over it !!
27th Nov 05 09:11

!

0

am94

It STUPID that Christmas is coming even before Halloween.
23rd Nov 05 06:11

!

0

Lozza

Laughable thing is most people don't even know the true meaning of Christmas (or yuletide for that matter). It's all down to greed (again)
21st Nov 05 07:11

!

0

anon

Don't give in to the commercialism, don't spend your money unecessarily, it's your choice. Simple.
19th Nov 05 09:11

!

0

xmasist

Well said, if all the religious people in the world actually got off their a***s and did an honest days work without whinging on about being good to all men, (whether they deserve it or not) the world would be a better place.
6th Nov 05 10:11

!

0

Religiousist

I agree, xmas is for old people, who have brains that are not functioning well, and for youngsters who want presents all the time. Religion is for those who cannot think for themselves.
6th Nov 05 10:11

!

0

xmasist. . .

I think Christmas is the most unpleasant time of the year. Why get into debt, just because you want your children to be able to brag brag brag to their friends at school about what they had? who cares anyway? children will grow up and have to fend for themselves. If they are not earning enough to 'impress' their friends, then so what? they don't have friends. . .
9th Oct 05 07:10

!

0

livvy

You are not entirly right there because you give presents as a thing of love but I do aggree with you abit people are getting greedy you need to show that your made off and dont like christmas as a time to get presses but a time to spend happyly with your family and close friends and have a good time.
16th May 05 06:05

!

0

FEATURES

Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox
spinner