Saturday, November 19, 2011
New Thanksmas Eve Day
I get it. The earlier retailers get you in the stores to do your holiday shopping, the more you’ll spend and the more likely it will be (in this rotten economy) for them to make a profit this Christmas season. That’s always been the case. I’ve watched over the last few years as Christmas decorations have appeared in store windows and holiday items on the shelves earlier and earlier. First, it was right before Thanksgiving that you’d start seeing Santa on display to get you in the buying spirit. Then it was November 1st, before you even had time to take down your Halloween decorations. But this year, I spotted a snowflake or two decorating the toy aisle at Walmart, some time in early September while finishing up my back-to-school shopping.
That was just the start of the new holiday season timeline. We no longer have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years. The retailers have found it more profitable, and we as consumers have bought into it, to condense them all into one holiday that my family has started calling, New Thanksmas Eve Day. It’s out of control. The first and second week of November, Disneyland and a high end mall in L.A. called the Grove, both held their tree lighting ceremonies, complete with Santa and faux snowflakes falling from the sky. All the store ads and television commercials are hawking Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales weeks before their real dates – the Friday and Monday AFTER Thanksgiving. And to make matters worse, driving home last night, we noticed that more than a couple of houses in our neighborhood have already turned on their Christmas lights.
What ever happened to Thanksgiving? We’ve skipped over it all together for the sake of creating a more robust economy. Because of all of this pressure to rush into Christmas, my daughters and I have made a conscious effort to put the brakes on and not race over November 24th. We’ll take a moment to be thankful for the family and friends around us, our health, and a roof over our heads. We’ll chow down on some turkey, sip some cider, read a book or two about the pilgrims (remember them?) and have the dishes washed in time to rush out to the midnight opening of Target! I might be frustrated about the rush into the holidays, but I’m not going to miss out on the savings either.
But clearly, my family isn’t up-to-speed on this New Thanksmas Eve Day tradition the stores are trying to start. Natalie, my eight year old, asked me what Black Friday was. I asked her what she thought it was and she said, “Black Friday is the day that they celebrate Black people.” I laughed and said, “No, that’s February, we get a whole month, not a day.” Nicole, my eleven year old, quipped, “…the shortest month.” So my kids aren’t shopping savvy, but at least they have a strong sense of irony.
Happy New Thanksmas Eve Day to all of you!