By: Cassie Dresch

I’d like to think I’m not much of a Scrooge, but there comes a point when there’s just too much Christmas.

Each year it seems the stores are playing Christmas carols over the intercom earlier and earlier. Each year it seems there is more focus placed on getting super special awesome presents. Each year it seems you’re forced to spend more and more to make everyone else happy.

It’s growing tiresome.

I love Christmas carols. I think they’re absolutely wonderful and melodic and heartwarming – in small doses. Working at a retail store, I’ve heard the same couple dozen carols on repeat over the store radio since the start of November. I don’t know whether it’s ironic or just depressing that ‘Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!’ plays at least four times in one eight-hour shift when there’s not a single snowflake on the ground.

Shoppers Drug Mart has recently decided that their Christmas tunes won’t be played until closer to the Yuletide based on the amount of feedback they’ve been getting from their customers on Facebook. Many of their customers felt that the carols were played far too soon and so Shoppers is delaying the music by a few weeks.

Yet stores are still forcing this onto us. They’ve turned a holiday that was once centred around giving, happiness and family into an on-going, living commercial. The adorned storefronts, the overpriced Christmas decorations and the annoyingly cheesy Santa photo setups really take away from the true sentiment of the season.

Christmas should be about freely giving out of the kindness of your heart and experiencing simple happiness. Instead it’s now, ‘Give me this or else I won’t be happy!’ It’s this greed-based thinking that makes people forget that gifts should be unexpected, not demanded or required.

They forget that happiness isn’t truly attained by the number of gift cards you get or which version of the Xbox you just got. It’s about the company you keep that you can spend those gift cards on or play that Xbox with that brings real happiness.

But of course the big businesses don’t want you to think that.

They want you to think you aren’t happy unless you ‘get into the Christmas spirit!’ and spend your money. It takes away everything that Christmas is supposed to be about.

How is that fair?

Short answer is: it’s not. It’s not fair that you and I are going to school, paying our way through life to get ourselves into a good career and still expected to drop a couple hundred dollars on gifts for everyone and their dog.
We’re bombarded with the imagery that ‘giving makes you a better person,’ but some of us can barely afford groceries, let alone gifts for our families and friends.

How am I any less of a person because I don’t buy presents for each person I know more than just as an acquaintance? It’s frankly quite insulting that Christmas has boiled down to that.

I can’t say that I entirely hate the Christmas season starting in November. I am a bit of a sugar cookie fanatic and it’s always at this time of the year that the best brands come on the shelves. This, however, doesn’t excuse all of the other horrendous misgivings associated with the early Christmas push.

The carols, the decorations, the presents – they’re all just by-products of the commercialization of Christmas. It’s hard to be upset with each individual aspect of Christmas. Though when it’s all wrapped up in pretty bows and shoved in my face over a month before the actual big day, it makes me want to pull a Grinch and steal back Christmas.