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Why the Commercialization of Religious Holidays Is Good for Everyone

With financial and cultural benefits, the commercialization of religious holidays is as beneficial to everyone as it is unstoppable.
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The secularization of traditionally religious holidays is as inevitable as it is prosperous. Today in the United States, this corrosion of religious practices generally falls the most upon old Christian holy days; this generalization makes sense considering that Christianity is the most practiced religion in the US. 71% of Americans identified as a part of some Christian denomination in 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. The same study also concluded that for all of the Christians surveyed, 32% saw Christmas as more of a cultural than a religious holiday.

With secularization comes commercialization. The American population is irrevocably controlled by those who produce the goods they want for mass consumption. Once again examining Christmas, in 2011, the industry produced $750,000 in employment positions, $630.5 billion in holiday retail sales, $127 million from Cyber Monday shoppers, and $1.32 billion from Christmas tree retail alone. Christmas produces billions of dollars in economic revenue every year; combined with Easter, Hanukkah, and other religious days spun for a profit, the holiday industry constitutes an enormous and essential part of the economy. Take away the inclusiveness of these holidays, and the economic benefits are stripped away as well.

Along with its economic benefits, a decreasing focus on the religious aspects of holidays have prompted an increase in their symbolic representation- today, many view traditional holy days as opportunities to be happy, reconnect with family, and enjoy themselves, even if they don’t practice the same beliefs with which those holidays are traditionally associated.

“Christmas and Easter are holidays that have become synonymous with fun and happiness and togetherness,” said Nick Finch, a Catholic. “[The secularization of holidays] is good. Why wouldn't I want to celebrate something I care about with everyone else? It's making people happy and, if anything, introducing more people to my beliefs.”

According to a study conducted by the New York Times, data revealed that people are overall happier than usual on holidays. Christmas Day, though not celebrated by all, is the happiest day of the year, with Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve coming in second and third. This happiness is felt by more than just those who recognize the traditional religious implications of these days; people of other religions and those who do not identify with any religion were included in the survey.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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