Editorial: Time to celebrate the holidays the right way

November 3, 2015

The Dominican Star’s Editorial Board has written the following piece. Editorials contain the opinions of the members of the Editorial Board. Members include Editor-in-Chief Cory Lesniak, Managing Editor Jocelyn Cano, Sports Editor Marty Carlino, Digital Editor Sarah Tinoco, News & Features Editor Melissa Rohman and Staff Reporter Natalie Rodriguez.

Each issue of the Dominican Star will contain editorial on various trending topics. The opinions do not reflect those of Dominican University.

November 1 is the unofficial start of the holiday season. You turn on the radio and, without a doubt, you will find that one station that has officially begun cycling through its Christmas carol soundtrack, you receive holiday catalogs including the Toys R Us “Big Book of Awesome” in your mail and your neighbors are outside decorating their houses, taking advantage of the comfortable 60-degree temperatures.

Oakbrook Center located in nearby Oak Brook claims that “it’s never too early to book your adventure” to go see Santa in an interactive North Pole attraction that has been standing since before Halloween. We as a staff ask, how early is too early to begin celebrating the holiday season?

There is no harm in celebrating love, thankfulness and giving to others one to two months before the respected holidays are here. In fact, these characteristics of the holiday season should be emphasized all year round, not just when the calendar says to do so.

However, we believe it is the commercial aspects of the holiday season that have driven the holiday season out of its true meaning.

As a result of the commercial success of Black Friday many retailers have raised the bar each year with earlier store openings and greater sales promotions, hoping to achieve greater sales success than the year before.

In recent years, retailers have increased their shock value by opening stores as early as the day before Black Friday – Thanksgiving Day.

Opening stores on a national holiday celebrated by all Americans regardless of race or religion, retailers are asking their employees, including some of us [on the editorial board] to skip spending time with their family on – what should be – their day off.

Retailers and consumers that choose to do their holiday shopping during another holiday are missing the point and it seems that the holidays have lost their inherent value.

Retailers experience the greed of consumers firsthand with sales and extended store hours.

Rather than taking the opportunity to increase sales on Black Friday, some retailers are choosing to entirely close their stores on the biggest shopping day of the year to allow their employees to enjoy Thanksgiving.

Outdoor recreation company REI has announced that all of its stores will be closed on Black Friday, encouraging both its employees and its customers to spend time with their families.

E-commerce website Everlane, which does not even have a sale, has chosen to donate 100% of its profits on Black Friday to its factories, known as the Black Friday Fund to reflect the value of giving back during the holiday season.

Retailers have essentially dragged out the holidays into a season spanning two months to accommodate and increase our society’s demands for goods. Is there anything we can do to reverse this?

This year, we should follow REI’s encouragement and stay out of the stores and spend time celebrating the holiday season with loved ones and leftover turkey. When it does come time to holiday shop, shop with the idea of giving more than just a material gift. We can celebrate the happiness and cheer that comes with the holiday season early, but let’s return the hype of the holidays back to what it used to be.