It was meant as a warning, but people took it as a joke: A picture of a turkey and a pilgrim, both holding muskets, pointed at equally armed Santa Claus, Frosty, and Rudolph. Santa in this picture is decked out in full-on Rambo garb, which is fitting, because Christmas has been launching a Sylvester Stalone level of assault on Thanksgiving for decades.
Personally, I think everyone I know thinks that Thanksgiving was invented so that A) Black Friday deal-seekers can fuel up properly for a night spent camped out in the blistering cold in front of Best Buy, and B) Those who would rather not participate in the consumerism stampede can have enough food stock-piled so they can survive the day without having to venture out into the frenzy. I’d say something snarky here like Because nothing says ‘I’m thankful for what I have’ like ‘Let’s go fight with strangers over even more cheap junk that I don’t need!, But I’m too afraid of getting this response: “Thankful? What’s that?”
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas as much as the next guy, but I’m also a traditionalist: I believe that Christmas should be held at bay at least until the day after Thanksgiving, maybe even the first day of December. It’s hard for me, too. It took a lot of self-control for me not to watch Christmas Vacation a few days ago when I noticed it was on Netflix. This is made all the harder when, for the past month, everything I see seems to announcing at full volume that CHRISTMAS IS COMING! IT’S PRACTICALLY HERE! Seriously-the mall here in Tempe put their Christmas decor up the day before Halloween. And then there’s Black Friday. Can we still even call it Black ‘Friday’? A better name might be Month of insufferable television ads. I think it has a nice ring to it.
I suppose that when it all started, Black Friday was a good idea, a way for those willing to wait in ridiculously long lines to get cheap Christmas Gifts. Not everyone participated, and most people were happy to stay in bed and sleep off the turkey buzz, and it worked.
But then ‘Black Friday’ started leaking over into the following weekend.
And then ‘Cyber Monday’ was invented.
And then we began seeing the word ‘doorbusters’ not just in November, but throughout the year as well.
After a while, it gets a little diluted, right? When ‘deals’ are apparently everywhere, you can know for sure that they’re actually nowhere.
And this year they’re doing the unthinkable: ‘Black Friday’ is actually starting on Thanksgiving. Call the Calvary home, boys; tell the turkey and the pilgrim that the war is over. We lost.
A lot of consumers are upset that if they want to get the big deals, they’ll have to miss out on the Turkey Day festivities. Honestly, I’m not to worried about the plight of these people, they have to make a choice, family vs. saving a buck. I am upset for the workers at these stores who are either forced outright or pressed into giving up special time with family in order to get holiday pay.
I too enjoy a good bargain, but I want people to start thinking about the real meaning of Thanksgiving, and no, it’s not seeing how much turkey and mashed potatoes you can eat before you pass out, either. Thanksgiving was started to remember a time when people came together to celebrate the fact that they could furnish a relatively lavish feast, surrounded by the cherished friends and family that had not yet died from dysentery or whooping cough. Do you really think that next generation tablet is going to give you that same feeling, even if it’s 50% off? I think not.