I think it's both. When I was a kid, it was more an essential ingredient, not much of a commercial event because those were tough times, stores were empty, you had to work miracles to get a present, not to mention sweets.
Now life has changed a lot, stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets are full of goods you need or don't need. I see people buying everything they can and making Christmas look like the biggest event of the year, which is from some point of view but let's be realistic. It's not the biggest event because you spend the most on things you might not even need and empty your credit cards. It is the biggest event because it's for family and friends to be together, share presents and remember the religious meaning of it.
I'm not saying you have to go to church in order to have a proper Christmas. If you don't feel like it, that's fine, you don't have to, but at least you should know what's Christmas about. So many people have no idea, they think it's just about Christmas trees, presents and food.
Vendors tend to make the most of it, which is good and bad as well. Some are displaying Christmas products starting from September. This is too much, I don't think it's appropriate.
Balance is the key to everything. Santa Claus is needed, but moderately.
In my young age, Santa Claus was referred to Nigerian kids as "father Christmas" and it's believed to be a fairy man with gifts and loads for not just Children but also adults, the truth is that we saw Santa Claus as not just a tradition, but as an essential ingredient that makes Christmas complete, so I won't see it as a franchise because when considered as a franchise it's a brand that doesn't really make money, but we as children we normally give Santa some part of our valuables like coins and in turn we get gifts and all.
So it's less of a commercial but more of a tradition, a norm and a special ingredient to make Christmas complete, so I won't say it non of either, I'll only say it's 30% of the commercial activities but more like 70% of the later because I've experienced these first hand and non of the two can be substituted for each other but I think I think one shares a higher percentage than the other; Santa is more of a tradition and an essential ingredient more than it's a commercial thing.
Well personally I think not, whether you have Santa Claus or not it doesn't affect the flair of Christmas.
I know Santa Claus is important and it's like a tradition during Christmas and also it's a commercial and business for some people.
In where I come from you have to pay to get close or take a picture with Santa Claus but we do call it father Christmas right here.
There are also many other activities that is an essential ingredient in celebrating Christmas as well like fireworks,bisco and banger are very important in our side,it's something you always see also during Christmas period.
When I grew up I loved Father Christmas. my children loved him as well and is an important part of Christmas.
The tradition was you had a stocking or sack the older you got at the end of the bed and it was filled by Father Christmas. In the end it didn't matter how old you were you just got bonus presents.
I can see the commercial side but it is still important for the young kids as it is part of the build up to the big day. I think people do spend more but it all depends on the economy at the time. People do spend within their needs normally so I don't think it plays a huge role in over spending.
I do get put off when I see Christmas decorations popping up months before but that is the ugly side of commercialism. This will always happen and I tend to block it out these days.
Santa Claus has been a very big part of my Christmas when I was a kid. I can still remember how happy I feel whenever I see him visit our Christmas parties. Santa Claus as a character on Christmas is important as it gives children an unexplainable feeling of awe, wonder and hope. Whoever created this character was successful in their effort to imprint these positive feelings to kids all over the world.