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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's Not Even Thanksgiving!

The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, so they say. In our house, if the tree is of the Christmas variety this phrase is especially true. Over the past few weeks there has been a proliferation of Christmas decorations everywhere our family has been. They always bring out the same reaction from my oldest daughter, "It's not even Thanksgiving!" Now our youngest daughter has joined in on the refrain.

On October 1st I blogged here about how Halloween displays had been up since early September. It seems that holiday preparation (read commercialization) extends every year. Today, I heard long time Chicago radio voice Garry Meier talking about how it is too early to play Christmas music and suggest to hold off playing them until the Friday after Thanksgiving. He is absolutely right! I was glad to hear someone other than my own family members suggest it.

I don't have the exact dates but by mid to late July the back to school sales had already begun near me. Labor Day was September 7th, and I saw Halloween displays on the 10th! As soon as those Halloween displays were removed they were replaced immediately with Christmas! I often see Easter displays a week before Ash Wednesday. 40 days isn't enough to sell a Holiday?!?!

In my opinion marketing these holidays for such a long time has a number of adverse effects:

1) It takes away from the meaning of other "lesser" holidays. Thanksgiving has been changed from a day to thank God for his provisions and has now been marginalized to an old McDonald's ad slogan: food, folks and fun. Actually it's more like food, folks and football. I ate dinner at an excellent restaurant last night that was advertising their Thanksgiving buffet. But instead of the traditional cornucopia and the like, they are already dressed in full Christmas mode, tree and all. One would hope they won't be piping in the Frank Sinatra Christmas album as they were tonight, but one can never tell.

2) It takes away from the meaning of the holidays they are promoting. The over saturation is so much that some people are ready for it to end weeks before it gets here. I can understand that in a political campaign, but when celebrating such special events as Christ's birth, resurrection or the founding of America we want the days to be special not something to be endured.

3) Running from holiday to holiday creates more stress than good will. Rest is good. A few weeks between celebrations is a good thing. Rest gives us the opportunity to celebrate holidays all our own. Yesterday Lucy declared to Amy you're the best Mom ever. Tonight is Mommy night. When she woke up this morning, Lucy furthered her proclamation and decreed today Mommy Day. Mommy Day so far consists of Lucy coming in our room every few minutes with a new gift or card for Amy. The latest was a folded up piece of blue construction paper which Lucy called a laptop. This freedom also gives us the opportunity to celebrate something equally important, everyday life.

Next year I plan to post about what in my perfect world is the best way to celebrate each holiday as they occur. Let me just say now that getting back to traditional observances and time lines would be great. Advent generally runs from December1st to the 24th. I would be perfectly fine if I didn't see any decorations or hear any carols before then. I would also be okay if "Black Friday" was the official "unofficial" start of the season. Any sooner and hey I've got daughters to contend with! etiquette


  1. Yes! Yes! Yes! I've been saying (well...ranting about) this for years and it's only gotten worse! The final blow for me was when they decided to have the stores open for sales on Thanksgiving day. If people can't stand to be with their family for one day, why are they buying presents for them???

    *pant, pant* Sorry. I'll get off the soapbox now. :o)

    Peace and Laughter and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. yada yada yada and AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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