Bring back Thanksgiving! Please, no Christmas decorations until Black Friday…

November 9, 2010

in imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway,marketing at work

This is a post originally published last November. For some reason, ever since September, a lot of people have searched for “turkey” and landed on my post from last year, skewing my stat counts since I know all of them got the pictures of the turkey and left without even looking at my blog.

Tis unfortunate. Not because I am vain (well, I am) and I want to treat the increased page views as real numbers (well, I do) but because I really wish more people will heed the plea, not just by me but also by some other bloggers, for example, Midwestern Mama said, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… And frankly, its pissing me the fuck off!”

The following is my tirade against the demise of the significance of Thanksgiving in the face of overwhelming commercialism…

Yeah tirade! Aren’t you glad that I am back in more ways than one?!

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I started campaigning for a forced postponement, a temporary deferral, of celebrating Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving Day four five years ago.  I even registered for the domain name: BringBackThanksgiving.com (which is still available… Any takers?)  I stopped paying for it after two years when I realized that with a full time job and three boys to take care of, I simply did not have the capacity to deal with Microsoft FrontPage. (Yikes. Do you remember the days, the days before Blogger, WordPress, etc. when one had to use a software such as FrontPage in order to have one’s own website? *shudder*)

“Curb your enthusiasm!” I beseech you.  “As you recover from the sugar high from all the Halloween candies.  As you dispose of the spider webs, the goblins, the mummy tombs, the rotten carved pumpkins.”

Please, oh, please don’t switch directly from Orange and Black to Red and Green.  However tempting it is when you move all the Halloween boxes down to your basement and see all the Christmas boxes beckoning at you. The smiling Santa with the chubby cheeks.  The snowman. The reindeer.  Resist the temptation: Didn’t Jesus die on the cross partly to teach us this lesson?  Be strong for the sake of your children.

The children need you to show them that, Yes, you believe in the meaning and significance of Thanksgiving Day. Yes, it is important that we take one day out to deliberately remember and show gratitude to all the people who add meanings to our lives, to all the material goods that we are blessed enough to own. To strangers who give you a smile in the street and thus brighten your day. To strangers who by merely doing their jobs are making the world a better, safer place.

My heart aches upon seeing houses adorned with Christmas lights right after, sometimes even before, Halloween.  Of course I am not intimating that the homeowners are therefore not thankful.  No siree.  I am simply dismayed that the significance of Thanksgiving, the arguably ONE holiday that we should all be able to agree on and celebrate, is undermined sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.

(I admit: I may be putting my foot in my mouth by saying this. I have no clear idea how the native Americans take this holiday though I suspect there must be a lot of conflicting feelings. Do they sometimes wish that Squanto were not so kind as to assist the pilgrims? FWIW, by reading “Thanksgiving: A Native American View” and “Teaching About Thanksgiving“, I am convinced that Thanksgiving is indeed deeper and bigger than just the Pilgrims and the Indians… I hope I do not offend should anyone of Native American descent stops by this post…)

I blame the turkey.

You heard me right. It is the turkey’s fault. In terms of merchandising, turkeys are just not as attractive as say, bunnies, chicks, Santa Clause, snowman, reindeer, and so on.  I have not seen any child hugging a plush Turkey toy lovingly.

turkey Bring back Thanksgiving! Please, no Christmas decorations until Black Friday...

To be honest, that red thing hanging down the throat freaks me out.  Pardon me for being crass, but it always reminds me of testicles. I don’t know why. But it does.

Many, especially Hallmark (bless their heart!), have tried to turn the turkey into an adorable icon:  but seriously, how adorable can you make a turkey?

Turkey for eating Bring back Thanksgiving! Please, no Christmas decorations until Black Friday...

Even more sickening is that in these cutesy depictions of turkeys, they are all forced to celebrate the event in which they will be slaughtered, cooked and eaten! The abomination!

No cute icons, no easy way for merchandising. No easy way for merchandising, no rampant commidification of Thanksgiving. No rampant commidification of Thanksgiving, no shelf space at your local drugstores and grocery stores.

(I am grateful for no longer being in the academia which affords me the opportunity to posit theories full of holes and preaches them on the Internet with no qualms… I am like Glenn Beck on an anti-Turkey path…)

But with your help, we can stem the tide.  We can start it from inside of our homes.

Perhaps we can all start a tradition of having each one of the family members mention one thing that they are grateful for, every day, in the month of November.  No matter how small or how trivial.

Perhaps we can start a quiet movement to resist the Red and Green color scheme from popping up inside of our own houses. Until the day after Thanksgiving.

On the morning of November 27 this year (because November 26, Black Friday, is reserved for Competitive Shopping, or most likely, nursing a stomach ache and hangover headache), I am moving up the Christmas Tree from our basement first thing in the morning.  I am really looking forward to it. And to optimize my effort of transforming my house into a winter wonderland for Christmas, I shall keep the decorations up until after Valentine’s day. Thank goodness for the lllloooonnnngggg winter here. That is, of course, until one of you starts a campaign for bringing back Valentine’s Day…


Facebook comments:

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

TheKitchenWitch November 9, 2010 at 11:11 am

I’m all for it, girlfriend. The ads for Christmas toys are already getting annoying.

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:52 am

*shudder*

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Kristen @ Motherese November 9, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I’m with you, girl. We are an interfaith household so Christmas is enough of a loaded subject already without it starting on November 1. I think the bleeding of the Christmas season into the Thanksgiving season has something to do with our culture’s seeming interest in too much of a good thing.
Kristen @ Motherese´s last blog post…Hot Wheels

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:53 am

Yup.

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Unknown Mami November 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I remember this post and I can barely remember my own name.
Unknown Mami´s last blog post…Everyday Politics

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:53 am

:-) Thank you.

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Robin November 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I couldn’t agree more but then I want XMas to die a slow and painful death anyway.
Robin´s last blog post…Is There Anything You Don’t Know

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:53 am

LOL. I remembered that. :-)

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pattypunker November 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm

i’m thankful for the interwebz because it brought me to you and your intelligent writing and ideas, which brought me to this post, which made look up the word commodification, and now i have an expanded vocabulary which will be particularly useful throughout the holiday season.

welcome back, girlfriend!
pattypunker´s last blog post…it’s good to be queen

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:54 am

Thanks, babe!

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Andrea November 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I’m a tofurkey girl myself, so don’t even get me started on the (yes, decidedly hideous turkey) all happy with a fork and knife to eat for which to EAT TURKEY!?! But you know what is even freakier — turducken. Nasty.

But yeah, Thanksgiving is a great holiday. We should actually acknowledge it as more than a stressed-filled prep for a large meal. You just reminded me to start the gratitude journal I’ve been meaning to start for years. :)

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:56 am

I did not say anything about a JOURNAL. I am anti-journal that’s why I started a blog! LOL

I need a tofurkey this year, for real. My brother-in-law will be visiting and he’s a vegetarian. Where do I procure one?!

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Andrea November 11, 2010 at 5:13 am

Lol! I’m kinda anti-journal myself, darnit. Tofurkey, yay! I find mine at our local health food store, but I’m sure any type of Whole Foods or whatever would have them. Check that fabulous new grocery store you mentioned! Freezer section. And look online for ideas on how to cook them. They come with directions, but you can add a little to make them taste better. :)

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Absence Alternatives November 12, 2010 at 12:33 am

Sigh. The thought of cooking anything stresses me out. I am one of those crazy people that clean while I cook… ALSO PUT AWAY STUFF!

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Mary Lee November 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I drove to the beach yesterday and saw a couple of HOUSES already decorated! I’m not talking about the ones which have been decorated since 1990, the two I saw had the wreaths up, candles in the windows, etc. Maybe it was an anti-Halloween protest.
Mary Lee´s last blog post…Who question mark

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:57 am

Exactly. They are trying to ward off the zombies.

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Mice Aliling November 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines (obviously). Lately, people have been making a big deal out of Halloween. Our country used to not pay attention to this as well. During the Halloween weekend, Filipinos would just rush to cemeteries and light candles and pray for loved ones who passed away. Sometimes, we would just hang out there the whole day and wait for relatives or visitors to visit the grave. It’s like a cemetery party.

Now I do have a point. And I’m trying to get there.

I think you will be more annoyed here because once the -BER months come in (September), Christmas music starts playing on the radio. If you think Christmas commercialism reigns, there, you haven’t been to the Philippines. Try living here at the last quarter and I will hold your hand while you go through Christmas horrors.

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:57 am

LOL. Thank you for visiting and commenting. I kind of enjoyed the journey you took to get to your point. ;-) Please if you do come back, take another long journey. :-)

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Life with Kaishon November 9, 2010 at 11:25 pm

You and that ugly turkey have me laughing out loud : ) and it is so flippin’ late. You are too funny! I am going to leave our tree up until Valentines Day as well! I love the merriment of the season. Ho Ho Ho!

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Naptimewriting November 10, 2010 at 12:51 am

Okay, I’m gonna go out on a limb and risk your wrath…it’s not the Turkey. Yes, ugly. Yes, silly and lame. Here’s the thing; the real reason Christmas is already plastered all over the stores while Thanksgiving is relegated to one dingy corner in the back: cornucopia. A decorative wicker horn o’ plenty filled with inedible, ugly gourds. Versus a soft, cozy stocking filed with candy, presents, an orange and a walnut.
Bring back Thanksgiving, sure. But to do that we need to popularize a Thanksgiving bathrobe, the pockets of which are full of money, chocolate, and whiskey. The only thing better than a sock full of gifts is a fuzzy bathrobe full of party.
There. I’ve said it. Change the goodies, not the mascot.
Naptimewriting´s last blog post…Word geekage

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 3:00 am

A Thanksgiving Bathrobe gift giving tradition? I think you are onto something here m’lady! Money + Chocolate + Booze. There is no way this plan will fail!

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writerwoman61 November 10, 2010 at 5:00 am

I’m totally with you that they promote Christmas way too early, but don’t blame it on the poor brainless turkey! Blame it on corporate greed…

Hugs,
Wendy
writerwoman61´s last blog post…The Sweet Smell of Success- Sort of…

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Dang. I thought I had something going with my turkey theory…

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Kernut the Blond November 10, 2010 at 8:23 am

I’m, with you, Sister! They started putting the Christmas stuff out in this area (Northern California) BEFORE Halloween! When I see it I always say “Soon they’ll be putting out Christmas merchandise and decor for the next year the day after Christmas ends.”

There will be no more boxing day – it will be anther shopping holiday, but for Christmas of the next year. And then the crap will be up all year long.
Kernut the Blond´s last blog post…Ten Things I Learned This Week

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

That’s kind of my passive aggressive way of not dealing with it: I simply left all the Xmas stuff up until my husband couldn’t no longer take it and he went ahead and took everything down himself. Worked for the past few years.

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Holly B November 10, 2010 at 9:08 am

Where do I sign ??!!! Since I posted my post about this, Hooterville has placed their Christmas lights out in town. The whole freaking town in lights. Its pretty dont get me wrong… but it freaking THANKSGIVING people!!
Holly B´s last blog post…A Mouse Up The Ass Might Be Quite Continential

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I was going to go over your place to sign since I like your much stronger language better! LOL

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dufmanno November 10, 2010 at 11:32 am

Thank god you’re back.
Not to further diminish the left for dead holiday of Thanksgiving but I’ve got to mention that the automatic beer machine would make a great Christmas gift.
Ok back to what I was going to say originally which wasn’t that profound but I’ll still say it anyway….
I love the warm overstuffed narcoleptic haze of Thanksgiving. It makes me dreamy and enables me to sit on a couch all day and watch monster movie marathons with my kids after we’ve finished eating.
I hate the soulless commercialism that my Christmases are rife with now. It used to be I could get one meaningful gift for each person I cared for and enjoy spending quality time with them.
Now I rush like a woman possessed from mall to mall trying to cross things off each childs list and get them beautifully wrapped (cause Santas elves are PROFESSIONALS) before shoving them under my tree at 3:45 am so no one hears me.
dufmanno´s last blog post…Sure That Really Happened

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I hear you. Now all the family members have their Amazon.com wishlist and we simply go over there click a few buttons and be done with it. Most of us actually have no idea what we want so we ask for gift cards. It’s meaningless really… My SIL and I have agreed between the two of us we are just going to forgo the gift giving this season.

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Renee Fisher November 10, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Here’s the reason Thanksgiving doesn’t count anymore: Aside from the sale of food products (and ensuing weight loss products) and airline tickets, retailers don’t make money. If it doesn’t make money, it has no value. I think it’s in the Constition somewhere, but I can’t be sure. Christmas is good, so good, in fact, that it should be year-round. Sort of like where baseball and football are headed. Re turkeys: Did you know that in the entire US of A there is only ONE farm that produces non-genetically engineered turkeys? Put that in your drumstick and smoke it.
Renee Fisher´s last blog post…7 Reasons to Date Women Over 50

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Absence Alternatives November 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm

The constitution does hide a lot of good stuff: some of which some people such as those are running for senator have no idea of…

I knew it! I knew they are genetically engineered. Look at them: all breast and nothing else. Like Pamela Lee. That’s why every year I order a honey baked ham and call it a day. This year though I do need to somehow procure a tofurkey…

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Juan November 11, 2010 at 9:14 pm

THANK YOU!!!!! (lol, sorry about that). For a while there I felt like I was the only one in the world that felt this way. I kid you not, the day right after Halloween I heard Christmas music in the mall and saw the city putting up Christmas decorations. I love Christmas, but come on! Let me enjoy Thanksgiving!

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Absence Alternatives November 12, 2010 at 12:44 am

YOU ARE WELCOME!!!!!
:-)

I am an overuser of exclamation marks and ALL CAPS. :-)

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secret agent woman November 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I agree – up until December, to me, it should be allowed to be fall.
secret agent woman´s last blog post…The fun so far

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SisterMerryHellish November 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I almost posted a picture of Christmas cookies I took in Walgreens in the last week of SEPTEMBER! Almost. I decided to pretend I didn’t see it. Ignorance is bliss and all, but unfortunately I can’t unknow it!
SisterMerryHellish´s last blog post…YouTube How-To- G is for Get a Six Pack in 3 Minutes

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