Hand-shaped turkeys and pilgrim hats have all but faded from our holiday season preparations. They say tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but the commercials on TV and the catalogues in my mailbox tell me that companies and consumers are more interested in what they want than what they have. We usher in the holiday season with one day dedicated to counting our blessings, yet we bookend this day of appreciation with nothing but selfishness and greed. Santa Claus and his happy helpers began working only days after Halloween, Christmas songs are playing ad nauseum in every store, and Black Friday has evolved into Black November, with deals spread throughout the month to entice customers to shop early and shop often. Sadly, we've come to accept and expect such gimmicks, but nothing pushes the envelope more than companies willing to open their doors before our turkey dinners even have the chance to settle.
Each year, stores push the boundary further and further. While midnight madness incentives and crack-of-dawn doorbusters have become the norm, companies are now dragging their employees away from their friends and family for early evening openings in an effort to heighten demand and generate higher profits. Though this may soon become the new normal, society should really step back for a moment and realize what this truly signifies: Our actions depict us as greedy, materialistic, money-hungry humans that succumb to animal instincts just to get the hottest items at the cheapest price.
To those companies that will not open their doors Thanksgiving night, I applaud you. To those who refuse to put up decorations until after Thanksgiving, I commend your decision. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, and perhaps retailers across the nation will think I've lost my marbles, but the holiday season should be about coming together, not tearing each other apart. (People have died at Black Friday events, so don't tell me competition is an exciting part of the challenge.)
I think of the Thanksgivings of my youth, and all that comes to mind is Faith Hill's "Where Are You, Christmas?" (Though in my mind, she's reminiscing about stuffing, not Santa Claus.) Where are you, Thanksgiving, and why can't I find you? I guess you must've gotten lost under that pile of catalogues in the corner... I just hope you and your spirit never completely fade away.
Take some time to thank the ones you love this holiday season by being with them, not shopping for them. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!