Home African Caribbean The Commercialization Of Christian Religious Festivals.

The Commercialization Of Christian Religious Festivals.

by Tony Kelly
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Christians and non-Christians alike have recently celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th December which as we know has become so commercialized and the real/true reason for the Christmas season is lost. In my opinion it will never be recovered as profit by stores, supermarkets and other businesses where excessive shopping along with avarice, overindulgence and merriment to the nth degree having taken on a new lease of life are now the norm.  The phrase ‘moderation in all things’ no longer applies and what makes it worse is the number of families who end up in debt and struggle to make two ends meet after Christmas which is made worse by the high cost of living and inflation. The blatant commercials/adverts which we are bombarded with on radio, television and social media platforms from as early as September just add to the entire false notion that Christmas is around the corner. There is no subliminal or subtle message in any of them as one cannot escape them even if one tried.  Why do we buy (pardon the pun) in to this has to be the million-dollar question? 

I recall the days of my early childhood when Christmas took in my eyes/experience so long to come each year and when it duly arrived one was so thankful and appreciative for whatever presents one received. As the saying goes ‘It was the thought that counts’ when it came to the giving and receiving of presents. Now Christmas seems to come so quickly based on what I have alluded to. Also, adults tend to give the younger generation presents on such a regular basis that the historical Biblical story of the three kings bringing gifts of gold (representing kingship) (frankincense (worship) and myrrh (death and mourning) to welcome Jesus in the stable in the manger and their importance pale in to insignificance.

I start with that observation as I went in to Marks and Spencer a well-known department store in Birmingham on the 28th December 2022 and Easter eggs were already on display for sale. To say that I was shocked would be putting it mildly as I struggle to understand why anyone would do this so early considering Easter is not until 9th April?  At this rate all these religious and holy festivals are now rolled in to one and make their real meaning useless.  Christmas cards and decorations are in some shops/stores from September and that too is incredible.  It is up to us as consumers to boycott buying these Easter eggs that early, so the supply and demand diminishes. There can be no reason/justification to be selling them over three months before the celebratory Easter Day. Makes me wonder what would happen if the traditional bun and cheese that Jamaica is known for at Easter time suddenly started appearing in outlets from now both home and abroad?  There is certainly a time and a place for everything and to go down this path when even the twelve days of Christmas had not come to an end is incredible.

No one is wanting the Ebenezer Scrooge like mentality of the miserly character as displayed in Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol but we certainly need to get a sense of proportion when it comes to all these well-established holy/religious festivals and how best to celebrate and observe them if that is our wish/desire.  Think on these things as collectively we can reverse this trend for the profiteering that businesses put in the name of consumerism before everything else. We have a duty and a responsibility and the power within us not to hasten time or the seasons and allow things to fall in to place without forcing them to happen too soon.

It is of paramount importance that the promotion and celebration of these religious/holy events are valued, managed and embraced in a timely fashion and meaningful way as that is what equity, equality, diversity and inclusion entail. They should not end up being about capitalizing on consumers money which defeats the aims and objectives of these special occasions.

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


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