Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Comes First

I joined in last year and I am joining in this year as well. It is a cause I believe in. I am reposting the post I wrote last year because, believe it or not, the same exact thing happened to me this year when I went shopping for Halloween goodies for my kiddos. It really does get earlier and earlier every year. Last year I posted this in November, now I can't even make it to the end of October. Crazy.

And so it begins. Earlier this year than I can remember any other year. But that is how it goes. It gets earlier and earlier every year. My mailbox is already transitioning from being jammed with political flyers to Christmas advertisements.

Even my kids notice the difference. "Why do they have Christmas trees up already mom? Isn't that crazy? It's not even Halloween yet!" my boys said to me as we walked through Menards. Even my young children know the order of things. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and THEN Christmas. That's the order.

A few days before Halloween I walked into Target (although it could have been any store) to get face paint for my kiddos and found the Halloween items being put on clearance to make room for all the Christmas items. Christmas trees were already up. Lawn ornaments with penguins holding presents, Santas popping out of chimneys, and candy canes that lit up were already on display. It wasn't even Halloween. Never mind the fact that we were still almost a month away from Thanksgiving.

And here is the thing, I love Thanksgiving. It is one of my most favorite holidays. It is the one holiday when family comes from miles around to be together with the sole purpose of enjoying each others company and giving thanks for the many blessings we have. It is a peaceful holiday. A warm, cozy holiday unencumbered by the piles of presents one is expected to receive and give. There is no worry about someone unexpectedly giving you a gift that you do not have a gift for. No worry of giving a gift to someone that doesn't have one for you, therefore making that person feel badly. No wondering if you spent enough or too much on the gifts. No pressure to find the perfect gift that they will love. The children are not constantly asking "Can we open gifts now?" throughout dinner. Massive piles of multicolored paper will not be plugging up every surface of the house. Thanksgiving is a reflective time to give thanks for all that we have before the season of "gimme, gimme, gimme" starts in.

Except now it seems society just skips right over being thankful. It is all about what you don't have and what you "must" have. Not about what you do have. And that makes me sad. What happened to being thankful?

Being thankful doesn't make money. And it is all about the almighty dollar these days. Christmas has turned into a business. The money business. It has been commercialized and stripped of what it is really about. And with that it has gobbled up one of the purest of holidays.

Well, not on my watch. And not on Suldog's watch either. Suldog is calling us to action. If you would like to help stop the cheapening of the holidays stop at Suldog's and read his post.  Support businesses, like Nordstrom's, that refuses to commercialize Christmas for the almighty dollar. Write a post of your own! Let's take back Christmas as the holy day that it is and not the two month long circus it is made out to be. Let everyone know that Thanksgiving comes first.


ROBIN said...

This almost brought tears to my eyes...for many reasons. It's truly sad that Thanksgiving appears to be passed over for the celebrations (and all that comes with it) of Christmas. I hope that we all help our children to appreciate the true meaning of each holiday. And as you said, Thanksgiving comes first....we must not forget that.

lime said...

i wish we had a nordstrom's so i could do my shopping there. i agree wholeheartedly!

Kat said...

Robin- Well said!

Lime- We don't have a Nordstrom's around here either. I would definitely support a business like that!

Tabor said...

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it is all about being thankful, sharing food and no other obligations.

Tonya said...


Suldog said...

Thank you, Kat! Well done. A very good read, and much appreciated!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I kind of go on strike with shopping now because all the Christmas stuff ticks me off. And here here to Thanksgiving being such a wonderful holiday! Here's to giving thanks and being together! And to pie! said...

I cant believe they over look Thanks giving each year.. I dont do x-mas a religous practice or because its a holiday. I do x-mas because its fun to give to my kids. But they dont get expensive gifts.. Anyway Yes Thanksgiving comes first.. If I find time I might do my own. Been busy here lately and missing in action again.. Havent had much time to visit anyone.

Elaine A. said...

LOVE this!!!!

We were talkingd bout this at my Mom's night last weekend and I was SO happy to heat about what Nordstrom is doing. I certainly hope other retailers follow suit.

My Dad has always said that Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday and when I was a kid I thought he was crazy but now I totally get it.


Riahli said...

We are still on the same page with this... it drives me crazy. I noticed as well that Christmas stuff was out at the beginning of Oct. this year! Really makes the stubborn part of me want to say no to the whole thing... once again this year we will be going simple with Christmas, and all though I have been buying and hidding away presents for the kids here and there I only do that to avoid the horrid Christmas rush and not to skip over other holidays. I like to buy things that I see that they would like and save them for Christmas, even if it's way before... {or I give it to them for a b'day present if that comes first.} Instead of waiting until the last moment and then just buying anything in order to have a gift for them, haha. Anyways enough about Christmas in October... good grief! I wish more stores would follow Nordstroms lead. It really does make the holiday seem a lot more special if we keep it to at least the month that the holiday actually happens in! Three months of Christmas commercialism takes the sparkle and shine out of the holiday if you ask me and makes the whole thing seems trashy. Sad. Too much of a good thing is never good.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Skips right over being thankful is the worst part of the Christmas hocking so early. You summed it up perfectly.

I didn't know about Nordstrom's waiting. I like that!


Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson