I recently followed this discussion of Christmas on a mailing list:
A: Although I like the family gatherings and Christmas, I am outraged at how commerialized this holiday has become.
B: What does this mean, exactly? I always hear about the commercialization of Christmas. What do people mean when they say this? That there are decorations in the stores? That people buy each other gifts? What?
C: The commercialization of Christmas means that you think everyone should celebrate it and that it's a time to buy gifts for one another. That's not true. I'm Jewish, and I don't celebrate Christmas because Christmas is a religious holiday which celebrates the birth of Jesus. Buying gifts was not originally the meaning of the day.
D: I don't think everyone should celebrate Christmas - obviously, many people around the world do not because their religion is different - to each his own. But I'm not sure why those of us who do somehow need to be "apologetic" for remembering our loved ones with gifts. Gifts were brought to the Christ child in the manger - it's not something thought up on Madison Avenue last year to sell more goods. And I'm still not following why having Christmas things for sale is an affront to anyone who doesn't want to buy them.
E: It's more the 'in your face' presentation of Christmas things... Everywhere you turn and look, there's a Christmas tree, tinsel, baubles, jingle bells, etc.