Thanksgiving is three days away. Already we see talk about pre-Black Friday sales, how there’s so many shopping days left until Christmas (30) and there’s a lot of folks who have their Christmas lights up (or, they just were too lazy to take them down from last year and just now plugged them in again).
Those of us in America seem to have completely forgotten about the most American of all holidays – Thnaksgiving.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. It’s very relaxed in that its prime function is to cook a lot of food, have a bunch of people over and watch football and eat and watch football and then eat some more. Thanksgiving does have a prime position for a holiday, in that it is the official kickoff to the holiday season, and its placement on Thursday virtually guarantees a very lax Friday as well, making Thanksgiving a roughly four-day holiday.
Well, that’s the way it used to be. Not so much anymore.
Like most things in the United States, the holidays are driven by fanatic commercialism. Thanksgiving doesn’t feature any gift giving, so it doesn’t drive a lot of retail sales (outside of turkey and canned cranberry sauce). Therefore the six companies that control the media in this country (yes…it’s only six) tend to skip right over it to push Christmas starting in early November. Christmas ads, Christmas sales, Christmas movies, Christmas music…all way before Thanksgiving.
Here’s some examples: we all know that Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the ultimate Thanksgiving movie, right? (Well, if you didn’t go watch it now. I’ll wait). Can you think of another? How about the seminal Thanksgiving song? Do you have your Thanksgiving decorations up?
All of this is fine, really. Thanksgiving doesn’t need that kind of attention – remember, it’s one of the most chill of all holidays. But the net result of all of this Thanksgiving reduction is ruining the holiday for a lot of families. See, the trend is to start the Black Friday sales even BEFORE Thanksgiving, then keep the stores open for much, most, if not all, of Thanksgiving, keeping people at their cash registers instead of taking the time to be thankful with their families.
So, this year, join me in completely boycotting the Black Friday sales that don’t actually start on Black Friday (Full disclosure: I boycott Black Friday anyway, I can’t stand shopping in mobs). Let people enjoy the holiday with their families. There’s plenty of time for shopping on Friday, Saturday and thereon.
A quick note on seasons…In my view, there are FIVE seasons in the US, not four. From January 2 until daylight savings kicks in, we have winter. From DST until Memorial Day is spring. Summer starts with the Memorial Day cookouts and ends with the Labor Day cookouts. Fall runs from then until Thanksgiving. Holiday season is Thanksgiving through New Year’s.