Face Off: Hold Off on the Cheer

By Jarek Harris

Ba humbug! Christmas can indeed be a beautiful thing for some, but for others it’s quite the opposite. This time of the year can bring more problems to not only your wallet, but your health as well. 

It is around this time that stress levels, drunk-driving-accidents, and property crimes spike. According to data put together by Buscar.nsw.gov, the number of break-ins increase the day and night of Christmas Eve. It’d be a shame if your family was the target of such a crime.  

Robberies aren’t the only crimes people are going to have to worry about this year. The number of drunk drivers are also on the rise. Alcohol consumption is nine times as high around the holidays. What good does this “holiday cheer” do? None at all. You just have an increased amount of drunk, possibly violent, and senseless residents roaming the streets, or worse, driving cars.  

The overall meaning of Christmas has also changed, and it’s pretty evident what it’s all about now: PRESENTS! The night after St. Nick’s overnight trip is now about how much money someone gives or spends on a gift. For a lot of Americans, the meaning of Christmas is no longer about celebrating the birth of Christ, but the eagerness of getting to open presents.  

It is for this exact reason that stress levels are high among adults during the holidays. The struggle to find the “right” gift can be frustrating and breaks parents down mentally. Kids nowadays also expect a lot more than what they can handle. They want iPhones, iPads, gaming consoles, etc. With commercials pushing their products heavily as early as October, and the constant begging from kids, adults feel a ton of pressure. A Harvard Medical School survey showed that 62 percent of adults experience a slight to major increase in their daily stress around the end of the year.

Yes, seventy percent of Americans affiliate with some form of Christianity, but the other thirty percent are of another religion or no religion at all. According to Pewforum.org, there’s been an increase of younger people choosing to not associate with any religion. Those who don’t associate with any religion only give out gifts anyway. What’s the point of slapping a name on a day of just handing out presents to people? It might as well be another birthday shared with billions of people. We, not only as Christians but also as Americans, have found a way of pushing the thought of Christmas and celebrating the birth of Christ down the throats of religious groups. We undermine Jewish, Muslim, Afro-Americans, etc. holidays. Movies, plays, and commercials all display the birth of a boy in a manger. Aside from Adam Sandler’s Eight crazy nights, there’s not much spotlight on other winter holidays.

Christmas is just another way for businesses to capitalize on the emotions and impulses of consumers. Corporations don’t care about the religious background or your well-being. They’re looking for a quick buck and they’ll get it, even if they have to play with your emotions. 

Don’t fall victim to capitalism. This year, save not only your wallet but also your sanity and stop celebrating Christmas!

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