Student reflects on faith in holidays

Commentary by
Nora Backus

With the holiday season quickly approaching, the biggest shopping day of the year is near. In recent years, the “holiday” of Black Friday has become more important to celebrate than Thanksgiving. This only allows the media’s perception of religion throughout the holidays to be altered as well.

Faith and religion have been completely removed from “the season of giving” in a media standpoint. Major retailers have taken notice of this alarming concepts, however, as they fight the media in their own way.

Several stores have decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year. What might seem like an attempt to save the religious values of the day or to promote family time may just be another way for the media to take over the holidays. The idea was started by the largest shopping mall in America.

The Mall of America was the first to announce it would be closing doors Thanksgiving Day. Shortly afterwards, CBL & Associates Properties Inc., a major mall operator based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, announced it too would close 73 of its malls and shopping centers nationwide on Thanksgiving Day.

The concept was delightful — retailers appeared to be forcing families to spend the holiday together. The media did not see it the same way, destroying any good nature that the decision originally presented.
“We want to bring back the excitement of Black Friday shopping as the true start of the holiday shopping season and allow our employees, retailers and shoppers to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families,” Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL & Associates Properties Inc. said in a press release dated Oct. 12.

The media began playing major retailers as it released many quotes, such as this one, highlighting the true motive stores had in closing for the holiday.

A new concept rose attention, as malls were closing in order to up sales the following day. Looking at the holidays from a faith perspective seemed completely lost altogether as well. The media failed to even mention it. Culture ultimately sees the holidays as secular, and it is frowned upon for the media to even speak of God.

What is Christmas without the birth of Christ?

Moving forward in light of which stores remain open or stay closed, it is time as a culture to fight back. The hype around Black Friday is a pressing matter, and it is hard to ignore its presence. The most difficult part, however, will be stepping away from the media and taking a stand — the holidays are not just about shopping. The main focus should be on faith and love. No matter the religion or family background, a little faith makes any problem easier to conquer.

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