What happened to Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving is getting engulfed in a wave of displaced Christmas spirit. Now I’m all for decking the halls, don’t get me wrong, but how can you get in the Christmas spirit in…October?? But I have two problems with this.
This year as I looked for Thanksgiving and Halloween items, I noticed that Christmas crept onto the shelves even earlier this year. And it seems to get earlier ever year. That is bad enough. I understand retailers’ competition for holiday spending dollars, and I understand that they think whoever is first to the party is going to get the money. I also get that in this economy, they’re all worried that we’re not going to spend as much, so the sooner they can get us in the spirit, the better.
Give Thanks & Wait to Give Stuff
But what about Thanksgiving? That day where we sit around a table as a family (which happens less frequently for everyone in this fast-paced world) and we give thanks for what we have. A nice, non-commercial day about family, good food and gratitude for all the good things in our lives. Not for what we want to get under the tree in December. Thanksgiving has started to become that day before the big sales. Or worse, the day you can start shopping early.
Which brings me to my second issue. What about those retail clerks and managers. If we shop on Thanksgiving, retail workers have to be in the stores, away from their family on the holiday. I worked retail for many years, and I did work at a couple of places that were open on Thanksgiving. I grated my teeth every time someone said at the checkout (and it happened frequently), “I can’t believe you’re open on Thanksgiving!”
Retailers Only Do What We Pay Them to Do
I bit my tongue to keep from replying, “We’re open because you’re here. If you didn’t shop on the holiday, we wouldn’t be open because they wouldn’t make any money. And I could enjoy my holiday.” If it cost more to keep the doors open than they brought in, retailers would not be open on holidays. And if we choose to wait until after Thanksgiving to start spending our holiday money, retailers won’t push the season. Let the retail workers take a collective breath on Thanksgiving with a well-deserved break before we bombard them on Black Friday.
Vote with Your Dollars
It’s up to us to vote with our dollars. Wait to buy your presents until “Black Friday,” or be a rebel and wait until after the Thanksgiving weekend is over. The stores will still be stocked with great gifts, and you can take time out of your busy holiday season to give thanks for the family sitting around your table without being distracted by visions of consumer electronics dancing in your head.
Respect the Bird!
As an All-Recipes AllStar, I’m in on the Respect the Bird campaign. I support it 100% because it’s something I believe in. You can get in on the act, and tell retailers to just wait until after Thanksgiving to start all the holiday madness. Visit RespectTheBird.com, or just click the pledge on the right.