PODCAST:通訳担当tensaimon 46.クリスマスは消費社会の祝日 Christmas is a consumer society holy-day








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Christmas: The Holiday of Cultural Consumerism

Posted on December 2, 2013 by Russia Robinson

During the month of December, American streets are taken over by Christmas. From large cities to small towns, Christmas decorations are seen on every street corner, every shop has a Christmas tree and plays Christmas music, and people and companies hold Christmas parties.

Thanksgiving and 4th of July are other American holidays, but Christmas is much bigger – why? To understand this we need to look at the history of Christmas

Originally Christmas was a small Christian church tradition celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus. In the Bible story three Kings traveled across the desert to give the baby Jesus gifts, which is where the idea of gift-giving originally started.

Then in 1823 the poem, ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ redefined our image of Christmas and Santa”,

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

and in 1874 Macy’s Department Store began to show Christmas gifts in storefront windows,

then in 1931 Coca Cola featured Santa Clause in an advertisement campaign – this is the first time Santa appeared in his red and white outfit (red and white were Coca Cola logo colors)

Hollywood played an important role in creating the consumer christmas “tradition”, for example the American classics Scrooge (1935) and “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) both strongly tell us that the point of Christmas is to buy and give gifts.

So the “tradition” of Christmas clearly encourages consumption

but not just presents – Christmas cards, figures and figurines, Christmas tree toppings, lights, costumes, and clothes, foods, also packing and shipping industry, and even the travel industry.

2010 total retail sale was $137.4 billion – a big part of the US economy!

The original meaning of Christmas was about religious beliefs, f​​amily, friends, and community

But this was changed by companies and advertising for one basic purpose- to increase spending, increase industry profitability, and stimulate the American economy

Ok that’s all from today’s article


Hey Simon what do you think?


Let me get my tea…sound effect…so I can do some drinking with my thinking….

1997 couldn’t really buy a christmas tree, but now christmas is everywhere – the consumer economy of Japan realised there was profit to be made by importing this “tradition”

But consumer society uses too much energy and too many resources – it’s destroying the environment that supports our civilization, and so it may soon destroy our civilization…

That’s what I think – thanks for letting me vent!


Hey Listeners what do you think?

Hey listeners what do you think?

Your turn to vent!

Would you like some tea?

1. Do you celebrate Christmas? Has it become a bigger event over the last 20 years or so?

2. Do you think Christmas has been imported into Japan basically to increase the profits from the consumer economy?

どうぞ vent your thoughts and feelings on this issue – send me an email!


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