Many people would agree that Christmas is the most important ceremony in terms of both religion and society in the Western nations. Christmas itself represents the belief of Christianity. However, this idea appears to be changed its original meaning over many years. It seems likely that stores tend to start Christmas sales quite early season: streets are full of Christmas decorations and advertisements. It can be assumed that the change is somewhat related to economic change. With change in economic conditions, people tend to follow materialistic attitudes, and abstract aspect like religious beliefs will be regarded as a less significant factor for their lives. But there will be other reasons in the context of this change.
By this research project, we seek to find out what British people really think about difference in the concept of Christmas between in the past and in the present, and what kind of sense they have for Christmas. In this report, I am going to analyse the difference by mainly taking account of people’s feeling.
Our main questions in this research project are, “Is there any difference in Christmas in Britain between the past and the present?” In addition, we prepared two questions in order to support the main question. One is “What is your plan in Christmas? “. The other is “What is the meaning of Christmas for you, and is there any change between before and now? “. Based on three questions, we added individually some questions when we interviewed.
This research project was carried out by interview. Each member interviewed at least one person individually, then we interviewed together in the street which were able to see many people doing the shopping for Christmas. Interviewees were mainly divided into two groups which are younger people and elderly people because our main topic in this research project is the difference between in the past and in the present. Comparing to two groups will bring clearly different consequence about this question.
We conducted the interview with more than ten people. After the interview, we gathered the samples and chose nine samples. Five of them were younger people: four of them were elderly people.
There was interesting information in this research. We managed to obtain not only typical answers, but also the answers which we did not expect. As both young people and elderly people commented, Christmas has been more commercialised than it was before; moreover, they felt children were given a lot of presents. When they talked about this topic, they would regard this change as a negative aspect. In spite of that, some of them had many shopping bags for Christmas.
Also, many of the interviewees mentioned lack of religious belief which is related to original meaning of Christmas compared with in the past. While many of them know the real meaning of Christmas, they tend not to go to church. Even Christians accepted this attitude. One elderly person, who was a Christian, said that he was going to church on Christmas day, and Christmas had more religious meaning. But, he also mentioned that even if Christmas had not religious meaning, it would be a special time. That is, there is a tendency that Christmas is an annual event rather than religious a ceremony.
On the other hand, the meaning of Christmas has become more important in terms of family relationship. Nearly every interviewee answered that they stayed with family or relatives and did not say that they would go to travel. One young man said he was Christian and Christmas has religious meaning for him; yet, the most important thing was family relationship. Also one young female said she always stayed with her family. I thought that young people were more likely to spend the time with their friends as Japanese young people do in the New Year.
One interesting answer was the topic about Christmas trees. One younger female said...