Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Comes First!

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?

But 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 is 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.  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.


Suldog said...

Thanks so much for this! I'll be sure to include this page in the next follow-up on Friday. Please let me know of anyone else who has posted anything, so I can give them a link, too! Much appreciated.

Cassie said...

I KNOW! Weeks ago I went into Michaels looking for a Halloween craft to do with our playgroup, but they had already moved everything to make room for Christmas stuff! ridiculous!

Mom24 said...

What a wonderful idea. Maybe that's why everyone feels so stressed about the holidays...they go on and on. Expectations just get ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, I actually walked into Hobby Lobby in August and they already had Christmas trees up and some of the ornaments. I think we need to remember what Christmas is about too!

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

Amen....I just walked into a coworkers office and she was listening to Christmas music!

Kelly said...

I agree with everything you've said. We're making some changes in our family this year in regards to Christmas and gift giving etc. I'm tired of being stressed at Xmas and feeling like the Scrooge. Thanksgiving is overlooked and I enjoy it myself. Thanks for writing this.

Scrappy said...

Get this... My husband is a retail store manager, and his store will be open ON THANKSGIVING DAY this year!!! I am so upset about it. He will be going in to work at 6:00 am on Thanksgiving Day and probably will not be home until about 4:00 pm (though they close at noon) because they will have to set up all of the signs for Black Friday (they would usually do it on Wednesday night, but can't now). He then has to go right to bed because he has to be at work at 2:00 am on Friday.
I plan on writing the company about it, but I realize it is not just their problem. We as a society have turned Christmas into the business that it is. Obviously I want my husbands business to be successful so he can still have a job, just not on Thanksgiving Day.

Great post!
BTW I just saw your weight loss ticker. Way to go!!

Rima said...

Hear! Hear! Very well said.

I never realized how awesome Thanksgiving truly was until I had children. Now it is my favorite holiday, way better than Christmas. I actually get sad on Christmas.

dianna said...

You are SO right, a peaceful holiday. Never thought of it that way but you are so right. It's too important to be passed by!

Love this post!

Tonya said...

AMEN! This will be a great post for my tomorrow's post...

Tammy said...

I love Thanksgiving too. It is so nice just to hang out with family and it is also very relaxing and cozy!

dawn klinge said...

I agree! Thanksgiving apparently isn't a big money maker for business, so it gets ignored. I love Thanksgiving for the same reasons you stated. I'm off to go and read the article you linked to.

Anonymous said...

Amen. And we're trying like crazy to make Christmas more about giving thanks, too. The commercialism just disgusts me to NO end. I like traditions, like decorating a tree and making cookies, but that doesn't require me to spend a week shopping at a mall!!!

Kristen said...

I am with you sister!! Seriously this is ridiculous.

Especially in this economy..what a chance we have to sit down with our children and teach them what is most important. Family, health, and spending time being thankful!

Count in one more person who will be concentrating on Thanksgiving first!

painted maypole said...


Lori said...

I am over from Suldogs are so right about little one's have noticed too...yesterday as we entered a store, there was a hug tree lit up with a sign saying Merry Christmas. Immediately my little ones' said," It's Christmas? Did we miss Thanksgiving?" A worker over heard this and started in with all this Santa crap to which I had to interrupt her and say, "We celebrate Thanksgiving first so enough of this talk about Christmas." As we walked away, one of my little one's said to her, "Yeah we like to eat turky and cranberries first!" :)

Great post!

Lora said...

Love this post! Thanksgiving always gets skipped over, its so sad. And the more it gets pushed aside the more materialistic Christmas has become because its lost that balance that I think Thanksgiving always provided. Thanks for the reminder, I'm going to make a post about this too.

lime said...

preach it, sistah!

Cricket said...

Amen. So glad to see so many participating in my swell pal Suldog's TCF campaign. I got hit with pre-Halloween Christmas this year too, at Mal-Wart. Ugh.

I'm sure it's not new, but this was the first, or at least the most flagrant, display I've encountered. They even had the music on.

When my son started singing along to Jingle Bells... I mean, really.

Thanks for doing your bit to keep Thanksgiving first.

Tonya said...

I finally posted on this topic!

Honey Mommy said...

I totally agree with you! I hate that stores seem to push Christmas so early. I think it makes the season less enjoyable.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Amen, sister! I love every thing about Thanksgiving. What a great holiday.

Molly is TOO CUTE! I'm happy for you all. I know she'll bring much joy to your lives. I don't know what we'd do without Tanner the Slobber Dog...though sometimes I wouldn't mind missing his tendency to steal food right under our noses! Congrats to the addition to your family!

Karen Deborah said...

I totally agree with you! Last year was the least I spent and I hope to do better this year. I love the musicals at Christmas, Carols by Candlelight and the Nutcracker ballet. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to just rest and enjoy our blessings. Sometimes I feel tempted to start decorating early but I hear my mama in my head, she says, "not until after THANKSGIVING." The best holiday of all. You really wrote this well.

Riahli said...

You are one crazy busy lady! I so whole heartedly agree...I hate how Thanksgiving is skipped over for greed. I was going to write a post about it too but I've run out of post writing steam lately...oh well.

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