Stop Cheating Thanksgiving!
By Julie Soderlund
Is it just me or do we seem to start celebrating Christmas earlier and earlier every year? In years past I have quietly grumbled to myself and to my longsuffering husband about this disturbing trend, and this year I can be silent no more. I am bringing my rant to GOTG.
I want to be clear – I love Christmas and the Christmas season. Really, what is there not to love? Presents, parties, family (well some family), constant drinking of red wine and champagne, the end of one year, the start of another, ugly sweaters, you name it, the season has a lot to offer. And, in fact it is the limited nature of this season that makes all of its aforementioned attributes all the more endearing.
The issue is that in our retail driven, premature, and often gaudy celebration of all the wonderfulness that is Christmas, we are not only diminishing the Christmas season by artificially extending it, but we are also really missing out on another, equally worthy holiday: Thanksgiving.
For a moment take your eyes off the Christmas lights on the corner and consider the amazing qualities the Thanksgiving holiday has to offer: the opportunity to stop for a moment and give thanks for all the amazing blessings in our lives, while at the same time committing massive carbohydrate consumption, entering into a tryptophan induced coma, reading all of the ads and plotting out Friday’s trip to the mall, and spending a day in the middle of the week with family and friends. It is clearly a holiday not to be missed, but nevertheless, it seems like every year the powers that be try to reduce it to the precursor to Christmas, rather recognizing it as an equally important, extremely enjoyable and less expensive holiday.
For example, and not to single out one company because nearly all are guilty of this, but Starbucks has rolled out their special holiday cup design and beverage menu earlier and earlier every year. Before we know it they will start shoveling us our caffeine in those things starting after Labor Day. The mall is already home to Santa and his photographer. Christmas music is playing on the radio. And don’t even get me started on the television ads peddling cars and jewelry to men who we all know won’t shop for their wives and significant others until December 24 anyway.
At the end of the day, all of this premature Christmas retailing is not only annoying, but it’s diminishing the quality of both Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I am on a one-woman crusade to fight back, with my pocketbook. I deliberately go to Peet’s where not only is the coffee better, but they relegate the Christmas pre-celebration to items for purchase and keep it off the cups themselves. I turn the station when I hear Christmas music on the radio. I refuse to decorate my house before the appointed time. And, thank goodness for the DVR giving me the freedom to avoid watching all those commercials.
That’s right, it’s bahumbug until black Friday. It’s the only way to stop the madness and restore Thanksgiving its rightful place and restore the Christmas season to a special, limited timeframe that we can all really enjoy and maybe even wish on December 26 that it weren’t over because it feels like its just started.
Thanks for listening and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!