Are brands destroying our Christmas traditions?

Every year it seems as though our Christmases are becoming more and more dominated by brands. 

Just before Armistice Day social media was already exploding due to the fact that two of our biggest, and now hotly anticipated adverts of the year have been broadcast on prime time TV. That’s right, in the words of the Coca Cola advert “Christmas is coming”. Why have we let our Christmas become so commercialised?
Coca Cola Christmas
An often accepted myth seems to be that Santa was turned red by Coca Cola (however in Holland, Santa has always been dressed in red, just as you would a Bishop), we’ve almost here accepted that a brand has been able to work themselves into our Christmas. In fact one of the same brands who now seem to signal the start of the Christmas period. However can we really complain about Christmas being too commercial? It’s a time when we mostly seem to forget the basic principles of the day itself. What was once a religious ceremony has now become a flurry of assignments, revision, drinking, and family. Some of us will definitely find this paradigm shift a positive. In fact as a student I’ve always found that Christmas is one of my favourite times for family and friend. It always brought together people on my course, societies, and housemates together to hold our own festivities before we inevitably flock home to cash in on free heating over the potentially coldest time of the year.
A time for giving
That being said we can’t overlook the fact that as a child we now have it engrained into us that Christmas is a time for gift giving (of course this is also a way to show people how much we appreciate them). However as small children everyone had that moment when they did the “lucky bast*** walk of fame” right? Strutting to your score and gathering everything up. This has essentially started us off into the long walk into commercialisation. We’ve associated Christmas with gifts and shopping throughout our lives and of course this shopping spree will see us surrounded by brands, walking through shops having their jingles and songs thrust upon us. Even our once over-produced and much loved Christmas anthems have become a source of marketing and brand power. Where the Christmas number one would once be Slade, Wizard, or another band we seem to only encounter during Christmas it has now merged into one with the Simon Cowell X Factor machine. Whilst we did have the year in which Rage against the Machine managed to de-perch the machine it was seemingly a one off. So we shouldn’t really be too surprised that we have found ourselves at a point where our Christmas time is dominated by brands and clever marketing strategies.
Core values
Do we need it? Well no, we probably don’t but I’m sure we can’t complain too much and we have still managed to keep our core values at heart. For as long as I remember the ITV v. BBC at Christmas debate has occurred as to which we watched on the day (Royle Family of course; especially up North). So we don’t need the brands, the fancy marketing, or the general commercialisation but it’s there. It’s there at a time where we like to grumble and be a Grinch until we get into the festive mood and manage to find ourselves embracing it, probably sat amongst our nearest and dearest in a jumper that would otherwise find itself straight in the bin.
What is the meaning of Christmas? Are we brain-washed into gift buying? Have your say below.
Image by: Waiting for the Word