Essays on Christmas in Terms of the Classical Psychological Perspective Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Christmas in Terms of the Classical Psychological Perspective" is a good example of a marketing case study.   Christmas is among the few annual rituals that are extensively celebrated globally, particularly in countries with Christian tradition. Traditionally, it mainly involved family gatherings and giving out gifts. Current literature on the cultural and psychological perspectives in consumers regarding the ritual of Christmas has attempted to develop an understanding of consumer behaviours and their consumption perspectives (Wennell, 2015). Tynan and Mckechnie (2006) observe that in the present-day Western cultures, there is an apparent change in motivations and values of consumers as regards their consumption behaviours during the Christmas ritual.

There are also concerns that the consumption meanings are today not compelled merely by utilitarian values, as more factors like social, hedonic, secular and sacred meanings have come into play. This essay argues that from a purely social and economic point of view, Christmas is greatly significant as it achieves a crucial role in legitimizing and sustaining consumer capitalism. From a cultural perspective, it has created and reinforced the culture of consumerism. How Christmas has changed over time Christmas has changed over time from celebration of the birth of Christ to more of consumer culture.

According to Kasser and Sheldon (2002), Christmas festivities have evolved from a ritual prohibited in certain parts of the world to one that takes over the entire month of December. A past study by Gallup poll in 2000 showed that some 96% of Americans commemorate the ritual (Kasser & Sheldon 2002). Typical behaviour during this festivity includes events where workplaces are closed down, people travel upcountry and heavy expenditure on gifts. Traditionally, it started as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is broadly associated with preaching a principle of anti-materialism and love.

Therefore, while the element of love still dominates, where extended families gather around to renew ties by exchanging gifts and feasting, the element of materialism has taken over the Christmas ritual with the prime stature of worship being Santa Claus, which Kasser and Sheldon (2002) ironically consider being a “ secular adaptation of Christ” and whose sphere of influence revolves around material abundance. In the United States, Christmas festivities have become a significant element of the country’ s economy.

A 2016 study by Statista showed that Christmas has become the largest economic stimulus for a number of countries globally, as sales increase radically in nearly all retail areas (Bender 2016). For instance, the retail industry made some US$3 trillion U. S. dollars in the month of December 2013. The sales reflected some 19.2% of total sales of the retail industry in the same month. In 2016, the retail industry sales were $3.19 trillion, while the average expenditure on gifts was estimated at $752 (Bender 2016).

Therefore, from a purely economic point of view, Christmas is greatly significant. In countries where Christmas is sponsored by the state as a festival and celebrated by nearly all households, it achieves a crucial role in legitimizing and sustaining consumer capitalism. Overall, consumer research has attempted to provide fascinating analyses of consumption during Christmas, while sociology has centred on examining the gift-giving rituals. On the other hand, anthropology has attempted to investigate meanings of the Christmas ritual in varied cultures (Kasser & Sheldon 2002).

References

Barnett, C, Cloke, P, Clarke, N & Malpass, A 2005, “Consuming ethics: Articulating the subjects and spaces of ethical consumption,” Antipode, vol 37 no 1, pp. 23–45

Bender, J 2016, Statistics and facts on the Christmas Season in the U.S, viewed 5 Mar 2017,

Clarke, P & Mortimer, G 2013, “Self-gifting guilt : an examination of self-gifting motivations and post-purchase regret,” Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 30 no 6, pp. 472-483.

Hirschman, E & LaBarbera, P 1989 ,"The Meaning of Christmas", in SV - Interpretive Consumer Research, eds. Elizabeth C. Hirschman, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 136-147.

Hope, J 2000 ,"Consumer Imagination, Identity and Self-Expression", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 27, eds. Stephen J. Hoch and Robert J. Meyer, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 50-56.

Kasser, T & Sheldon, K 2002, "what makes for a merry Christmas?" Journal of Happiness Studies, vol 3, pp.313–329

Kelement, Z, Nagy, P & Kemeny, I 2016, How to transfer a coupon-based event into a hedonic shopping experience? retail branding implications based on the glamour shopping days, viewed 6 Mar 2017,

Tynan, C & Mckechnie, S 2006, "Sacralising the Profane: Creating Meaning With Christmas Consumption in the UK," European Advances in Consumer Research, vol 7, pp.182-188

Venkatesha, A & Meamber, L 2007, "The aesthetics of consumption and the consumer as an aesthetic subject," Consumption Markets & Culture, vol. 11 no. 1, pp.45—70

Wennell, K 2015, "Christmas, Religion and Consumption," Ethics in Consumption Seminar Series, viewed 5 Mar 2017,

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us