Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Give me back my Thanksgiving!

Dear Retailers,

I am not pleased with you. You have taken the Christmas creep way too far. In fact, it is no longer a creep. It is a hijacking.

Let me tell you a little story:

I was going through my Tuesday night routine of watching Glee and folding laundry, happy as could be that my daughter was asleep (well, in bed and quiet), my dogs were not barking and I had the house to myself. I was particularly happy because this was the first episode that featured one of the winners ofThe Glee Project (don’t judge me) AND he had just sang “It Isn’t Easy Being Green” (have I mentioned that I am a fan obsessed with The Muppets? No? I need to address that at some point). Then. It happened.

A freaking Christmas commercial came on! I am not kidding. It was a Christmas commercial from WalMart, and gender stereotypes aside, it was horrific. Halloween just ended not 24 hours before and you’re paying for Christmas advertising?! It’s an atrocity on so many levels. You’ve committed so many offenses from this it’s hard to pick just one. And that is that you’ve now stolen my Thanksgiving.

Yup. I said it. You’ve stolen Thanksgiving from me. And I want it back. In case you’re forgetting what Thanksgiving is—since that’s what you’ve clearly demonstrated based on your advertising and in-store displays—let me remind you that it’s the time of year we’re supposed to sanitize the relationship between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims and celebrate them coming together over turkeys and cornucopias. But it’s more than that. November is supposed to be the time between Halloween and Christmas (and Hanukkah) where we take a moment to actually enjoy our lives and attempt to be thankful for what we have. Which you have now made impossible by assailing us with your nonstop advertising for Black Friday deals and Christmas sales.

You have now made Thanksgiving the gateway holiday to Black Friday. Thanksgiving used to be a holiday unto itself. We would learn the story of Thanksgiving, classrooms would be full of traditional, handmade Thanksgiving projects, and relish in the fact that we got two days off (I still do this, actually). Sadly, Thanksgiving is now lost in the shuffle of its very expensive cousin–Black Friday. No longer do we hear about the wonderfulness of Thanksgiving. Now we are bombarded with Black Friday deals instead. Retailers are rushing us past a day of turkey and stuffing in order to ensure that we’re all aware of their midnight shopping specials. Thanksgiving is now something we need to get through in order to shop.

And how dare you remove all Thanksgiving décor from your stores? It is impossible to walk into a store and find anything even remotely related to Thanksgiving. For years, I have been looking for Thanksgiving decorations–which used to appear in abundance when I was a kid–to put around my house. Now? I can’t find one unless it’s some hideous turkey that looks like it belongs in a horror movie instead of my living room. I want to decorate my house, not scare my pets.

I know, by now you’re thinking that you’re not entirely to blame for hijacking my Thanksgiving. You’re right. TV and radio do hold their share of accountability. Not only because they accept your advertising dollars but because they too have bought (literally) into the Christmas creep. Imagine my disappointment when The Grinch Who Stole Christmas was running on November 5th? Really, November 5th? What’s next—showing A Christmas Story on Veteran’s Day? And please don’t get me started on the radio stations that are playing Christmas music 24/7 starting the day after Thanksgiving (in fact, where  I live, I think some might have started that already).

But mainly, retailers, I blame you. You have stolen Thanksgiving from me and everyone else. I do understand that you may be wondering where my anger towards you is coming from. After all, I should understand that you’re just business trying to make money in a depressed economy, right? Wrong. I think that’s bullshit. And I’ve been patient with you up until now. But I’m done.

I want my Thanksgiving back! And if you can’t help me, I’ll make it happen myself.  I may not be artistic or creative but I can outline my hand on construction paper, glue feathers to it and make a turkey. I can still have my delicious Thanksgiving dinner with my family, even if the dinner doesn’t look like a photo shoot (Martha Stewart, I blame you for this phenomenon). I will refuse to go shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and even refuse to discuss or promote your sales. I will find a picture of a cornucopia to hang on my wall (thank you, Internet).

You can try to hide Thanksgiving from me. But like a bloodhound, I’ll sniff it out, find it, and bring it back.

Just try to stop me.

 

 

 

 

 

24 Comments

  1. Money Beagle

    We have two radio stations that go exclusively Christmas music. One actually flipped the Friday before Halloween! The other waited until November 7th. I still refuse to listen until after Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, the station (there was only one of the two at the time that played Christmas music) started on Christmas Eve and played it through the end of the night on Christmas. That was something I looked forward to. Two days has since turned into two months. And, the part that drives me crazy is that they’ll go back to their non-Christmas music at midnight. It’s like, you can’t play it for one day after when you’ve played it for two months straight?
    Money Beagle recently posted…5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About Student Loan DebtMy Profile

    Reply
  2. anotherhousewife

    Oh my gosh I feel the same way! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I REFUSE to let it be upstaged. I love the message of thankfulness and spending the entire month reflecting on your blessings (I know you should do this all year but…). It sets the stage and our hearts on what is important going into the self-indulgence that has become Christmas. I LOVE Christmas too, (not one of my reasons has to do with gifts) but it has it’s time and place and that is NOT in November. It’s pretty bad when even my kids realize that the stores have forgotten about Thanksgiving. They are dumbfounded by the displays. Our family will gladly join your crusade.
    GREAT POST
    anotherhousewife recently posted…Blogs I StalkMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana

      I agree with you. We should be thankful for our blessings all year but it is nice to take at least one month (or even one day of one month) to reflect on them.

      I love your statement about the self-indulgence that Christmas (and Hanukkah) has become. As a Jew, I don’t celebrate Christmas but my husband, who does celebrate it, and I have had numerous discussions about how appalling the Christmas spirit has become and that if I were to celebrate it, I’d be pissed.

      Reply
  3. Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog

    I totally agree with this – I cant believe how far some of this has gotten. Someone at my office hung a flyer for a christmas play or party or some such thing at the beginning of october. It was eventually taken down, but still. This has gotten way out of hand – personally, I like thanksgiving more anyway!
    Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog recently posted…Weekly Links: Breather EditionMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana

      Me, too!

      I cannot believe that someone already hung a Christmas flyer. Did you hug the person that took it down? Because I would have.

      Reply
  4. shanendoah@the dog ate my wallet

    My company is actually open the day after Christmas for regulatory reasons. It is one of my favorite days to come in to work. I take the Wednesday before off to help C prep for Thanksgiving, and then on Firday, up and off to work I go.
    I dislike shopping and crowds, so shopping with crowds is a punishment to me.
    I also love Thanksgiving, as it really is the only holiday devoted to spending the day with people you care about, and sometime in there you eat a leisurely meal. A day dedicated to being thankful for what we have. How great is that?
    And that’s probably why stores want to skip it. They don’t want us to be grateful for what we have, they want us to want something more.

    Reply
    1. Jana

      That’s an excellent point you make about stores not wanting us to be satisfied. After all, if we’re satisfied with what we have, we won’t spend money. It actually makes me sick.

      There is nothing better about spending the day with the people you love, cooking and sharing an amazing meal, and reflecting on what we’ve been blessed or fortunate enough to have. The fact that retailers want to rip that from us makes me want to boycott every store that shows a Christmas commercial before Thanksgiving.

      Reply
  5. Shannyn @FrugalBeautiful.com

    I work at a retail/coupon company. We have to start negotiating Black Friday and Christmas deal in October- that I get. The fact that I see these companies ADVERSTISING on tv their Christmas layaway programs, their holiday sales and red velvet flocked Santa-esqued shoppers is nasty to me. I get that we need to plan ahead but seeing Christmas trees in store windows already is a bit much.

    Apparently, we have nothing to be THANKFUL for since giving thanks for a food and family related holiday isn’t as profitable but man, it just makes me so aggravated!!!
    Shannyn @FrugalBeautiful.com recently posted…Am I Too Broke To Be A Fashion Blogger?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana

      I totally get the need for people behind the scenes to start negotiating deals early. I’m totally fine with that. It’s how business works. But to have to endure the constant barrage of Black Friday commercial and Christmas commercials at a somewhat alarming rate makes me long for election commercials.

      It is a bit disheartening when we’re “told” that gifts are more important than being thankful for family and food.

      Reply
  6. molly

    I totally agree with you about Thanksgiving. Look I love Christmas as much as the next person, but I had barely taken my Halloween decorations down and I am bombarded by visions of red & green and the sounds of ho ho ho’s. Retailers need to relax! Let us enjoy each holiday in all its glory (turkey and pumpkin pie, I am talking to you) and Christmas will be here soon enough for it to be enjoyed properly…in December.

    Reply
    1. Jana

      I could not have said it better myself.

      That’s part of what bothers me–the inability that retailers give us to enjoy each holiday on its own.

      Reply
  7. Travis @Debtchronicles

    I just read an article that by 2015 Black Friday will be gone because Holiday Creep will have moved the “big sales” all the way back to Halloween.

    I’m with you 100%, Jana. I boycotted Black Friday, and I’m going to do it again this year. I’m going to do less store shopping, and more internet surfing for the best deals. I can do that in shorts and tank top even in Minnesota.

    I freakin’ love Thanksgiving. It’s my all time favorite holiday. People do soooo much complaining (guilty as well) – and Thanksgiving gives everyone a “jolt” even if for one day that there’s always something to be thankful for.

    I’ll hang a cornucopia on the wall too. In fact, maybe I’ll hang one on my blog to readers just what season it really is right now.
    Travis @Debtchronicles recently posted…I’m a Secret Agent for NielsonMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana

      Seriously? Halloween? When are people just going to take a step back and enjoy things as they come instead of being so hurried and forced to think 2 or 3 steps ahead about everything?

      I would love it if you hung a cornucopia on your blog! In fact, I think I’m going to do it, too!

      Reply
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  9. Janice

    Amen!

    It is ridiculous. I saw my first Christmas commercial on the MORNING of Halloween. For Glade Plug Ins.
    Curse you Glade plug ins! I will never buy you!!
    And Santa arrived at the mall here on November 5th. NOVEMBER 5th? What?!?!

    Shouldn’t he still be busy making lists and working the elves to death? I am sure he doesn’t have time to be sitting around the mall.

    Homeboy neighbor down the street has had his TREE up in his front room window since LAST Monday. What in the world? I want to vandalise his house.

    It seems like there is a small, but growing backlash to this incessantly early push of Christmas though and for that I am THANKFUL!

    Love your blog-found it through ‘So Over Debt’
    Janice recently posted…The Lighter Side of Apple PieMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana

      I think this is the best comment I’ve ever received!. I am so happy you stopped by to visit. Please come back soon. 🙂

      I have noticed the small but growing backlash to bring back Thanksgiving. I hope that it gains more steam. We can call it “Don’t Occupy the Mall”!

      Reply
  10. Jen @ Master the Art of Saving

    It seems like they start earlier every year. Poor Thanksgiving. 🙁 Pushed aside and ignored, just like Pluto.
    Jen @ Master the Art of Saving recently posted…Little Fridge to the RescueMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana

      It is sad, isn’t it? And now that you mention it, I miss Pluto, too. To me, it will always be a planet.

      Reply
  11. 101 Centavos

    we’re boycotting black friday again this year. Thanksgiving is a time to get together with family, and contemplate the blessings in our lives.
    101 Centavos recently posted…Career Tip #14 – Right Vs. WrongMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jana

      Good for you! I agree that it should be a time to contemplate blessings, not worry about saving $200 on a TV.

      Reply
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