Friday, November 2, 2012

Thanksgiving Comes First

Each year I join in because it is something that really gets under my skin.  I think I am passing my irritation on to my children because they were the first to notice the offense this year.  As we excitedly began cruising the stores for Halloween costumes on OCTOBER 5th my boys protested and complained that Target (and Walmart too) was setting up their Christmas decorations.  Almost an entire month before Halloween the Christmas decorations were already being displayed.  Even KIDS (who live for Christmas) were irked by the ridiculousness of it all.  So, my kids all join me on this post, and if you do too please write your own post and link up with Suldog.

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.

Christmas is being so commercialized that the basis of the entire beautiful holiday is being forgotten.  Jesus, our KING, was born in a lowly manger.  He came from the meekest beginnings.  The holiest of holy had nothing.  And he came to save us.  How has buy, buy, buy become a three month long focus of this precious holy day?

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 three month long circus it is made out to be. Let everyone know that Thanksgiving comes first.

(On a very small side note: this is my 700th post.  Holy crow!)


Suldog said...

Thank you so much, Kat! I've added your link to our Facebook page and will be giving you a mention and link in my follow-up posting next week.

(All who do a post, and notify me of its existence, will receive the same. Please join the cause!)

Jeni said...

Good words and a great post, Kat. This year, especially, after all the damage and ruination done to the eastern seaboard with Hurricane Sandy, the rest of us should take extra pains to observe Thanksgiving with a whole lot more thanks than we normally would give. We do, all of us, have much for which we could and we should give thanks to the powers that be our provider(s).

Mom24 said...

Wonderful Kat. It is absolutely ridiculous.

Kat said...

Mom24- It is ridiculous. And that is coming from a Christian who loves the Christmas holiday. I can't imagine how obnoxious all the craziness is to all of our non-Christian brothers and sisters out there.

Kat said...

Jeni- Exactly. Being thankful should definitely be a focus these days.

dawn klinge said...

Yes, this is something that needs to be said! Thank you for writing about it. Thanksgiving is such a pure, non-commercial holiday...I think that's why it gets overlooked by retailers. There's not much to sell (except food) for a holiday that's all about gratitude. I love Christmas too, but part of the fun is the anticipation. It kind of gets diluted when it starts before Halloween.

Bijoux said...

It is super annoying. Kohls now sets up their Xmas trees in September. No sanity there!

momto8 said...

yes. really must hit a nerve deep inside us when even our kids start to comment!! It emphasizes the points we try to make to them though about how much we strive to be in the world but not of the world.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to go down the aisles with christmas stuff in them - And have been known to launch off into a speech about how wrong it is to clearance items when the holiday hasnt even come. :) I think the majority of people are "For" it are the store owners. Time goes fast enough, no need to rush it anymore!

Unknown said...

I totally agree. I can't stand how Christmas is forced upon us months in advance and we can't enjoy the two holidays before it. I enjoy not having to worry about those things. It is crazy that stores can't seem to wait.

lime said...

i agree. it makes me crazy! i won't even tolerate hearing christmas music in the house until after thanksgiving...not once school starts.

Wendy said...


imbeingheldhostage said...

Perfect post!!! I have to say, I've almost been sucked into the skip over Thanksgiving trend as well, but in my defense- I live in a country where nothing is closed, school is still in session and the hubs works. It's been really hard to justify cooking for two days for a quick gobble before kids' training. I do love the pause for being thankful though :) said...

I read this every year and I get tears in my eyes. I remember as a child getting my whole family together and being there. For college in my comp 1 class we had to do a memoir and I did one on my grandfather because he was always the peacemaker over the holidays and this hits hard this year with this post especially after doing my memoir on him. you are so truly right though. Even my girls asked why so early this year. I mean they could get the x-mas things out the first week of November not the first week of October. Its ridiculous. But anyway hope all is well.

Kat said...

Jeri- I imagine it is hard to keep up the Thanksgiving tradition/holiday when you live in a country where it is not celebrated. I think I'll go easy on ya. ;)

Unknown said...

Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday.

And I understand the spirit of giving at Christmas but it has become quite the commercial "monster", for sure.

Great post my friend!

Riahli said...

I agree {as I do every year, ha ha!} you speak the truth! I am really not feeling the buy, buy, buy at all. It always makes me want to go in the opposite direction and not buy anything! Every year I want to get away from all the presents at Christmas more and more! I enjoy our fun traditions so much more, that's what makes the holiday for me. :)

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


Congrats on 700 posts!

For Christmas, we don't get anything up until Thanksgiving, but we do discuss the budget before that as well as sometimes get some gifts before then (since we have to get them out of state)...but never anything in the "Christmas section" of any store.

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