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Katherine Whitehorn is referring to the commercial importance of Christmas. She is saying that even if the religious and cultural traditions of Christmas did not already exist, businesses would feel compelled to create an equivalent winter holiday from a commercial perspective. The Christmas season is a huge time of year for retail sales, gift giving, and consumer spending.
So according to Whitehorn, if Christmas in its current form was not an established annual event, commercial interests would see the need to invent a similar winter celebration in order to drive consumer demand and boost the economy during the slowest months of the year.