Saturday was both Halloween and daylight saving time, but before the busy day was even over I started hearing people talk about how excited they were to start listening to Christmas music. This really took me by surprise, so I counted the days. There are 54 days between Halloween and Christmas and only 35 days between Halloween and Thanksgiving, so why do so many people just skip over the one major holiday in November?
“Perhaps Thanksgiving is not a grand season in today’s society because it only deals with giving,” said Jonathan Seligman, author of “Why Do We Always Skip the Season of Thanksgiving?” “After all, people receive things on Halloween and Christmas, as opposed to Thanksgiving … that would explain why Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gained more weight than the main event. Perhaps we have given into commercialism and only celebrate seasons that businesses can capitalize on.”
If people aren’t tuning in to radio stations that are playing ’round the clock Christmas carols, then they’re skipping dinner to map out their Black Friday routes and get in line outside their favorite stores before the doors open.
“As Thanksgiving becomes Thanksgetting, we’re directed to give thanks until the midafternoon … then separate, sit in traffic, wrestle with sale-hungry mobs and stand on long lines all in the name of accumulating more stuff,” said Christopher Dale, writer of the New York Post article “Shopping too soon: How retailers are ruining Thanksgiving.”
Are we really skipping the one holiday where we take a few hours to sit down together and remind ourselves what we have to be thankful for because we don’t get anything?
Other holidays are oriented around getting things, like presents on Christmas, cards on Valentine’s Day or candy on Halloween. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask to celebrate one holiday where we give back to our loved ones, does it?
There’s nothing wrong with a little Black Friday shopping, but people should remember that the day is about being thankful for what we have, not greedily rushing for things we still want.
According to the National Retail Federation, the typical shopper planned on spending more than $800 on gifts for friends and family last year. In addition, the Russell Research report “Simon Holiday PR Study” found that nearly 80 percent of holiday shoppers started their shopping before Thanksgiving last year.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. It’s probably my favorite holiday, but I love Christmas when it’s time for Christmas and I’m not going to skip Thanksgiving to prepare for Christmas. I’m going to spend Thanksgiving being thankful.