The sacralization of Christmas commerce

Jean M. Bartunek, Boram Do

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Discussions of Christmas sometimes focus on the paradox of its being both a Christian Holy Day and a secular shopping season, implicitly suggesting their equivalence. In this article we demonstrate the inadequacy of such statements. We explore the ongoing evolution of Christmas in the Northeast United States since the 17th century, and we show how, thanks in part to Calvinist theology brought by the early Puritan settlers, commerce associated with Christmas has been sacralized over time, become sacred, to the extent that it now, to a considerable extent, subsumes the religious commemoration of Christmas. We suggest some implications of this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-806
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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