Sunday 16 June 2019

Has shopping overtaken festive traditions?

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Sure what else would you be doing on Christmas night but queueing up to go shopping?

I could not believe my eyes when I saw news coverage of people queueing from 1 a.m. in Waterford to get into the Next sale on St Stephen's Day.

I cannot understand why anyone would want to do this.

It just baffles me! To leave your home after Christmas day with the family and go into town in the cold and dark to stand in a line for hours, then scramble to save a few quid on kids' clothing? It's utter madness.

And the kids' clothes are to blame for this hysteria. It's been happening for years that bargain hunters stand in line for hours to pick up cut price items for their kids.

I think that regardless of the reduction, I would never be inspired to go through that to save a few Euro, but everyone is different and perhaps the thrill of getting a good deal was too much to ignore.

I find it a bit depressing that companies would even expect their staff to work at such a crazy hour - perhaps not 1 a.m. but even 5 a.m. is a crazy time to open up a department store.

It's not life or death here so surely such companies could cut their staff a little slack.

The same staff would have been working around the clock in the lead up to Christmas, and this sort of sale makes it impossible for some of them to have even 48 hours off with loved ones.

This is simply corporate greed and a silly marketing tool to create hype.

With every passing year, Christmas is becoming more and more commercialised and the insatiable consumer culture is overshadowing any real meaning.

Christmas has morphed from a religious and family celebration into a race to buy as much as possible and fill our homes for a single day, only to go out the day after and buy even more.

Is it really too much to expect people to stay at home for more than a single day and are we that hooked on spending and shopping?

Must all festive celebrations revolve around shopping and buying more stuff than we need?

The pressure this puts on people is enormous.

All the so-called 'traditions' are just money-making ploys by retailers and commercial giants with no real meaning or significance.

Drogheda Independent