Saturday, November 21, 2009
Whatever Happened to...Waiting Until *After* Thanksgiving to Celebrate Christmas?
There's no easy way to say this: in recent years, Thanksgiving is really getting pooped upon. There's no respect for the holiday anymore. The proof is in overzealous advertisers running Christmas campaigns, retailers playing Christmas music and average American citizens who jump the gun on putting up Christmas decorations before we've even had a chance to finish off the Halloween candy (well, I realize some people don't finish up the Halloween candy until Easter, but I'm just saying...)
I'll admit that Thanksgiving may not be the most exciting holiday. We don't dress up (well, unless you have a nutty relative or two around your dinner table) and we don't exchange gifts. However, it's a day to practice gratitude and celebrate what I consider to be the end of the fall season, before the snow starts flying.
I am not a grinch, by the way. Christmas is my favorite holiday - I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving, when I can start playing my favorite Christmas music, decorating, watching the old Christmas TV specials, and planning my list of greeting card recipients.
However, the key word in that last sentence is "after" - *after* Thanksgiving (and, as you noticed, not *after* Halloween.) So why, then, do retailers and advertisers insist on running holiday campaigns before we've had a chance to begin wearing our winter coats? Why are Christmas decorations for sale in most major stores by the beginning of October? Do they really think by rolling the merchandise out nearly three months in advance, that they're somehow going to make more money, especially during a lousy economy? It's bad enough that Halloween advertising seems to begin the minute the kids are back in school.
And it isn't just companies trying to capitalize on the holiday - one radio station that I listen to started playing LOTS of holiday music regularly as soon as Halloween was over! It just feels wrong - listening to such songs before Thanksgiving gives me no emotional enjoyment whatsoever, because it's simply too early. When I was a kid, it was an unspoken rule that radio stations couldn't play any holiday music until the day after Thanksgiving. And on the day after Christmas, they removed them from their playlists. There's something to be said about delayed gratification and for me, it always applies to Christmas music.
But if all this isn't enough to get my panties in a bunch, I've noticed, while driving home from work at night, that a lot of people have decorated their houses already and are displaying lights and lawn nativity arrangements. I guess if people want to jack up their electric bill so soon it's their prerogative, but how about a little more respect for Thanksgiving, please? Like the Byrds once sang, there's a time for everything...and that should include a time for Thanksgiving as well.