Thanksgiving gobbled up by Christmas commercialism


Photo by Maisie Dyer; Photo illustration by Josh Collins

The Christmas tree startled associate editor Josh Collins with a Halloween appearance at the historical courthouse building on the square.

Leaves fall from the trees creating a mixture of bright orange and yellow blankets the dying grass. The long-sleeved shirts and sweaters now accompany most people that leave their house into the growing bitterness of fall. Halloween has just ended and the sweet smell of Thanksgiving is on its way. The smell of pumpkin fills the air as… what is that? Is that… a Christmas tree? In the middle of town? With Christmas lights? No. Winter hasn’t even started!

I have always loved the Christmas season, but I also firmly believe that the Christmas season does not truly start until Black Friday. Therefore, I hated to walk into Wal-Mart and see the Halloween section half-off and picked clean and then turn to see nothing more than Christmas decorations. Everywhere. Not a decorative turkey or fall leaves in sight. Just a beaming Santa Claus, glowing with joy in the spotlight for the next two months.

I expected all of this from mega corporations such as Wal-Mart, as they do it every year, but on Nov. 1, the last thing I expected to hear was a Christmas jingle on the radio. I expected even less that when I turned onto the Square, I would see the city Christmas tree already set up and ready for the lighting. After all of that, I was even more shocked to learn that the lighting of the Christmas tree was last Saturday, in the middle of November. With exactly 33 days until Christmas, there are plenty of better times to light the tree.

Where did the Thanksgiving season go? After all, I associate the wonders of fall and the changing of the season with that holiday. We go from Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas. But it seems society just goes straight from scaring the life out of each other to the joy of receiving gifts. What happened to the wonder of waking up early on Thanksgiving morning to sit in the living room with your family to watch the Macy’s Day Parade while your mother screams bloody murder from behind because she did not get the turkey in the oven in time? Or all the cheers and jeers that erupt from family as we sit and watch our favorite and least favorite football team compete on television? What happened to the savory smell of turkey flying throughout the house to greet everyone with a growling stomach of breakfastless hunger? Or the nagging that comes from setting the table with the fine china and the unnecessary “don’t you dare chip any of plates or bowls mister!” What happened to the entire family, sitting together with hands held tight to thank God for everything last thing that blessed the family and the world on this one day dedicated to giving thanks?

Personally, I will not even think about Christmas until after I have finished the leftover turkey sandwich and set my alarm for an unreal time so I can wake up in time for crazy Black Friday madness.