Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where Did Thanksgiving Go?

I have beef with Christmas in America.  There, I said it.

It isn't the idea of Jesus being celebrated, or the gift giving, or the crowds.  I'm ok with the crowds, and gifts, and I really do like Jesus.  What bugs me is how soon we start doing stuff for Christmas.  I'm amazed that radio stations and stores are already playing Jingle Bells.  I'm amazed that stores already have a tree up and are selling ornaments.  I'm astounded that Costco already has their Christmas toy aisle.  What ever happened to Thanksgiving?  It's a holiday too.  Granted, it isn't much different than what we do every day (eat a lot), but it needs to be celebrated none the less.  If nothing else, we need a moment to slow down and think about how much we have.

I think what really bugs me is what it seems to say about our country right now.  Thanksgiving is supposed to be about being thankful, and after talking to people and reading blogs, I think it is still about that.  Let's be honest here, in many homes, Santa and Jesus are thought of equally as much, and the cynical part of me says Jesus is getting rubbed out.  Christmas is supposed to be about Jesus, but it seems to be more about - gimme, gimme, gimme.  What does this say about Christmas already being on my radio and in my store?  That we are bypassing being thankful and moving right into gimme, gimme, gimme.

I can't tell the direction of causality.  Are we materialistic because the stores are doing this, or are the stores doing this because we are materialistic (and let's not forget that stores might be ran by materialistic people).  It would be in their best interest to bypass the thankful holiday because the more thankful someone is for what they have, the less they want, so let's make sure children aren't very thankful so they'll keep wanting more.  The whole enterprise makes me sad.  I know Christmas is exciting, especially for children.  I'm not saying to throw Santa out the window, he stands for kindness and giving.  I'm not saying we can't play Christmas music, though there's a strict rule in my house that I don't want to hear it until after the 15th of December.  What I am saying is this, let's celebrate thanksgiving (and for some stores, Halloween) before we celebrate Christmas.  I would say we should all boycott stores that have Christmas decor up, but we'd all starve.  I really don't know a fix, and I doubt things will change, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.

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