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Whatever happened to Thanksgiving? November 9, 2008

Posted by Emily in a few of my favorite things, Montana, rants.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Christmas as much as the next person, but I am starting to resent it.

For years, the Christmas decorations have been hiding out year round in the dark corners of WalMart, and maybe I am more likely to notice as I missed my last American holiday season, but Target, my beloved Target, has also started stretching the Christmas season into late summer and early fall. I know, we’re in a recession and stores are hurting and people love spending their minimal money on reindeer sweatshirts and singing, dancing Hula Santas, but there’s just one main problem with all of this.

This most American fascination with buy, buy, buy starts to eclipse the most American holiday―Thanksgiving.

And I miss Thanksgiving.

The idea of Thanksgiving is so different from what Christmas has become. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about slowing down, not racing around elbowing off other mothers intent upon buying this year’s version of Tickle Me Elmo.

Thanksgiving isn’t about wanting more. It’s about being grateful for what you have.

Thanksgiving is about eating and drinking and chatting and spending time with people you care about. There’s rarely any pressure to attend lame office parties, and I don’t know of anyone who feels a need to wear any theme jewelery for the occasion.

Thanksgiving is about celebrating fall, taking note of the crisp evenings and maybe a skiff of snow.

Thanksgiving is about traditions that weren’t created by Hallmark. And new friendships. And old cultural ties.

The morning after Thanksgiving, all bets are off and I understand that. It’s likely that I’ll be out early with my mom and sister, looking for good deals, avoiding any place where elbowing is taking place, and enjoying each other’s company, some breakfast, and the official emergence of the Christmas season. We’ll probably head out on our annual Christmas tree cutting excursion the next day.

But until then, I don’t want to see commercials about planning your Christmas meal. I don’t want to hear Christmas jingles when I go shopping for pumpkin pies. And I don’t care that KMart is offering layaway for people buying outside their means for Christmas.

I want to take things one holiday at a time. I am thankful for Thanksgiving, and I’d like to actually be able to appreciate it without being overwhelmed by all of the red and green.



1. Carol - November 13, 2008

Right on, Em! I’m with ya.

2. miamired - November 14, 2008

The other day I heard “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” on the radio. And I thought, “No, it’s really not.”

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