Holidays and Our Consumer Culture: The History and Current Trends for Christmas Shopping

2122 Words 9 Pages
Holidays have always been known to affect our consumer culture for many years, but how it all began eludes many people and very few studies have been completed on it. Even though some say that the subject is too broad to precisely identify how holidays, especially Christmas, directly affect our market, I have found that people’s values, expectations and rituals related to holidays can cause an excessive amount of spending among our society. Most people are unaware that over the centuries holidays have become such a profitable time of year for industries that they now starting to promote gift ideas on an average of a month and a half ahead of actual holiday dates to meet consumer demands.

Religions influences on consumer’s
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In view of the fact that spirituality was very important to people in earlier days, merchant stands soon started to be seen in the churches court yards due to the vast numbers of people who attended worships services on a daily basis. Merchants and traders soon became a familiar figure around churches especially during the holiday season when services were held more regularly and the turnouts were larger which usually meant they had a better chance for a sale. The merchants offered various products such as produce, meat, fabric, toys, and home made jewelry for all to see. In the picture above a Melaka Christian churchyard is filled with merchants trying to sell their products.

Religious beliefs soon formed new values as the importance of gift giving became a ‘tradition’ among religions. In most religions helping others who could not help themselves was already a steadfast belief. As people’s values of wanting to help and give to others started to intertwine with the calendar holidays many people started to look for newer and better gift ideas for their loved ones and soon strangers as well. Christian’s predominantly could be found buying minuscule little gift items, such as notebook paper, pencils, and ribbons, for the homeless children, their families and the poorer community that could not provide for themselves during the holiday seasons.

Along with people’s changing values of the holidays the public was now attending
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