Seriously people: No Christmas decorations or music yet. Bring Back Thanksgiving!!!

I first published this post in 2009 and reposted it in November 2010. Every year, as early as towards the end of October, I found myself aghast coming face to face with Christmas merchandise and sometimes even MUSIC when the leaves are still sporting brilliant red and yellow.

Seriously? What the F people?

What about Thanksgiving? You know, the quintessential American holiday? The way I see it, FAUX NEWS should be carrying this “Bring Thanksgiving Back” flag if they talk about being the TRUE Americans all the fucking damn time.

The following is my now annual (so it seems *sigh*) 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 six years ago.  I even registered for the domain name: BringBackThanksgiving.com (which is still available… I am sad to confirm… 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

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

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 26 this year (because November 25, 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…


Article by Absence Alternatives

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{ 32 comments… add one }
  • secret agent woman November 5, 2011, 7:50 pm

    That thing where they have animals advertising their own slaughter totally creeps me out.

    I saw a sign up today at a store saying they would have Santa there next Saturday. On November 12th! So very, very wrong.
    secret agent woman´s last blog post…Who Would Jesus Bully?

  • Amber November 5, 2011, 9:09 pm

    I love you. That is all.

    Except it ISN’T all. I completely agree with you; as someone who isn’t Christian, or any religion, anymore I find Thanksgiving to be a safe holiday that has innocent and wonderful undertones–who can argue with giving thanks? I can’t. (Except for, as you pointed out, the Native Americans might have different feelings over the whole holiday.)
    Amber´s last blog post…There’s No Place Like The Office While Listening to Amy Winehouse

    • Absence Alternatives November 5, 2011, 9:23 pm

      I also love how there is no gift giving involved, and all we are expected to do is to give thanks and help out those who are not as fortunate. What’s not to love?! (Again the disclaimer applies…) xxoo

  • Kathryn McCullough November 6, 2011, 6:17 am

    Down with Christmas music in October.

    My only issue with Thanksgiving is it’s rather blatant celebration of colonialism. We may eat with native Americans, but we also took their land.

    Kathy
    Kathryn McCullough´s last blog post…The Forgetting I Remember Most

    • Absence Alternatives November 6, 2011, 9:59 am

      I am with you. I’m conflicted about it. But I’m taking the holiday at its face value and cringe whenever I see little kids wearing homemade “head gears”…

  • Alex@LateEnough November 6, 2011, 1:50 pm

    Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday after Father’s Day (which no matter how hard I try I CANNOT make about me so you know I hate it).

    I’m happy to skip Turkey day except for the giant meal part. Or create Hallomas where we get presents and candy! Oh wait, Tim Burton beat me to it. Damn.
    Alex@LateEnough´s last blog post…Another Epilogue: More Popular Than My Blue Hair (Actually It Is More Aquamarine)

    • Absence Alternatives November 6, 2011, 9:30 pm

      I guess it’s an easier holiday for me to deal with because 1. I did not grow up here so I really was not aware of its historical context until much later (after I came to the US) 2. none of my folks are in the US so there’s no complex family drama to deal with. We really just use this day to remind each other to be grateful. But of course, if we behaved like proper Christians and said GRACE before dinner every night then we would not have needed this special day to do so?

  • lifeintheboomerlane November 6, 2011, 6:07 pm

    I can’t even say anything funny about any of this. All I ever think about when I do think about Thanksgiving is that genocide was the way our government scored a monstrous land grab, and now we get to celebrate this event by eating a lot of genetically engineered animals. And that is followed by a holiday that celebrates an event that most likely never occured, by participating the largest consumer inhaling of the year. I know, I need to just slink away with my thoughts. I will never speak of this again.
    lifeintheboomerlane´s last blog post…Man: 0 Cat: 1

    • Absence Alternatives November 6, 2011, 9:33 pm

      Of course you should speak your mind, esp. here! I do wonder about the perspectives from Native Americans, and I tried to read upon some of the articles/posts I could find but of course, there’s no way to know every single person’s feelings towards this day. But I know what you mean: I feel similar about Columbus Day…

  • SisterMerryHellish November 6, 2011, 9:08 pm

    When I was a kid (and when I say kid I mean in my late 20’s) I’d bring out the Christmas music as early as June if I needed a pick-me-up. Now…not so much. It’s too much!
    SisterMerryHellish´s last blog post…P Is For Vendetta

    • Absence Alternatives November 6, 2011, 9:34 pm

      Don’t get me wrong: I love drinking hot cocoa and listen to Christmas music even though I am not Christian. Heck! In Asia all over people celebrate Christmas because of Santa and reindeer etc.

  • dufmanno November 7, 2011, 9:34 pm

    So I should probably take off this elf costume and stop singing into this candy cane shaped microphone, huh?
    I only like sad Christmas music, the kind that reminds us that people are dying while we shove gobs of holiday roast in our maws as we buy three of everything we don’t need and then roll naked in tinsel!
    Honestly I never really listen to seasonal songs, and now I wonder if it’s because I was forced to practice singing them non stop for the “HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR” by angry nuns wielding guns.
    dufmanno´s last blog post…Good Bye Yellowbrick Road

  • chickens consigliere November 8, 2011, 12:20 pm

    I’m with you Absence. Halloween and Thanksgiving are my very favorite holidays. I don’t even start thinking Christmas until, let’s see, usually about 12/15. That’s how long it takes me to digest all those leftover turkey casseroles. Seriously, I think we should give thanks every day, and I think we should have never brought Valentine’s day around in the first place, never mind bringing it back. OK, I’m being a little rough on VDay, I know. But it is sort of like Christmas. An originally sweet sentiment that got totally commercialized and now reeks of fortune 500 manipulation. RANT OVER you can all return to your previously scheduled programming.
    chickens consigliere´s last blog post…Chicken talks about "The Sex Talk"

    • Absence Alternatives November 9, 2011, 3:14 pm

      RANT AWAY!!!!! Too bad I did not think of naming my blog psychotic foaming before. (But I did name my tumblr that way. ha) 🙂

  • BigLittleWolf November 8, 2011, 1:00 pm

    Signs of Christmas are already out and about in my parts. And all too soon. May we start a movement? No holiday ads & decorations less than 4 weeks prior? Surely, that’s sufficient???

    Bah, humbug.
    BigLittleWolf´s last blog post…Emotional Affairs

  • Velva November 8, 2011, 7:54 pm

    I shared your post on my facebook wall. Awesome post.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family…..No green and red till December.

    Velva
    Velva´s last blog post…Lemon Chicken Breasts and Gifts from the Garden

  • Jack@TheJackB November 8, 2011, 8:32 pm

    I hate the holiday season and I beat up Santa Claus. Bring on the turkey.
    Jack@TheJackB´s last blog post…The Greatest Dad Blogger Of Them All

    • Absence Alternatives November 9, 2011, 3:16 pm

      Don’t you find Turkey ugly and kind of disgusting? We actually never serve Turkey on Thanksgiving because it would just be a total waste. The only year we had Turkey we went to Boston Market and had our Thanksgiving meal there…

  • Jeane November 9, 2011, 1:52 am

    I have to admit I am a bit tired of all the holidays and their thoroughly commercialized takeover. I have a few qualms with Thanksgiving in general, its origins and a mad case of genocide do nothing to add to the turkeys appeal but I must say I love your idea of gratitude and stating one thing we are thankful for every day for a month. It seems to be something lacking in current “holiday spirit” where instead of smiles we battle over sale racks.
    Jeane´s last blog post…The Rum is better without the diary…

    • Absence Alternatives November 9, 2011, 3:17 pm

      Like many, I too have qualms about the historical origin… You heard that Target is going to open for Black Friday at Midnight on Thanksgiving Day? Oy ve.

  • Meg at the Members Lounge November 9, 2011, 7:22 am

    Please continue to post this every holiday season! I went to the mall about 10 days ago and the Santa kiosk was already set up, and parents were in line with crying kids. I made a mental note to get anything I need in there by next week; I refuse to set foot in there after Thanksgiving.

    P.S. I have to cop to playing the Charlie Brown Christmas CD on Thanksgiving day. It really is more of a jazz CD, right?
    Meg at the Members Lounge´s last blog post…Holiday Comforts!

    • Absence Alternatives November 9, 2011, 3:18 pm

      Definitely JAZZ. 🙂

      Srly though, I don’t want people to think that I am trying to take good old holiday family togetherness away. It is this rampant commerciailization, GIVE ME GIVE ME GIVE ME that I have an issue with…

  • Marcusss November 9, 2011, 1:47 pm

    You should be happy to hear then what Nordstroms is doing. They’ve posted signs that their Christmas decorations will be going up AFTER Thanksgiving…..

    • Absence Alternatives November 9, 2011, 3:12 pm

      Ha. Thank you for letting me know! I’ve always loved Nordstrom despite their stupid promotion for Asian American heritage month a few years back. I guess I can finally forgive them now. Thank you also for visiting and commenting!

  • Wicked Shawn November 10, 2011, 6:58 am

    I blame the testicles under the turkey’s chin, too!!

    Also, Can I throat punch the next person who tells me they are already finished Christmas shopping? Who the fuck is already Christmas shopping??? Nevermind already finished!!! I think they are lying!
    Wicked Shawn´s last blog post…Yeah, I Know…….Let’s Just Pretend

  • Ameena November 11, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Marketing drives me bonkers. I swear I think that advertisers think we are the stupidest people alive. Like just because I see a cozy little set up at Macy’s I’m going to partake and buy everything I see during the holidays? I think not. My husband says I’m a marketers worst nightmare.

    I get you.

  • Joy November 12, 2011, 12:02 am

    I was ranting about this just today at work! You totally crack me up, only because I so get you…Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it involves cooking, eating, and inappropriate daytime naps. It IS being ruined by Retail America BIG TIME. If you take this to the streests, AoA, I’ll be right there with you… 😉
    Joy´s last blog post…Milestones & Memories

  • pattypunker November 20, 2011, 7:03 am

    ya know they always tried to tell me that jesus died on the cross for my sins, but i think you’ve nailed the real reason here. (nailed, get it? double entendre bonus points for me!)
    pattypunker´s last blog post…double whoa!

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