Monday, December 02, 2013

How the Merchants Stole Thanksgiving

I had already beefed about how much I hate that Thanksgiving has been overshadowed by Christmas just last year. But this year something new set me off.

 I was in a grocery store, of all places, two weeks before Thanksgiving, and the store was full of Christmas decorations, with Christmas music playing continuously on the PA. I was expecting to see pilgrims and turkeys, Indian corn and cornucopias, but instead there were Christmas trees, snowmen, and candy canes. (while marked down Halloween items were still on display) A friend who came in with me said he wanted to get stuff for Thanksgiving, but the music and decor spoiled the mood, so he just got dog food and left.

 Now I can understand why most merchants would want to push Christmas on us as early as they can get away with, but a grocery store? I mean, they sell turkeys and sweet potatoes and pumpkin pies and all that good stuff. I kept wondering what prompted them to join with  the other merchants, wanting to jump from Halloween straight to Christmas.

I kept on wondering what happened to Thanksgiving while watching TV. It seems to have been replaced with Black Friday. That's what most of the commercials were about, and even the news. Not much mention of Thanksgiving this year on TV. What's up with that?

It has been explained to me that the term 'Black Friday' comes from the way accountants write up a company's expenses in red ink and the profits in black ink, expecting to gain more profits during the Holiday Season. But I have another theory. During older times, the term 'black' was used to refer to something evil or satanic, such as Black Sabbath, Black Sunday, or anything that was a travesty of something sacred.

Gee, how might this apply in this case? We have a holiday that is supposed to be about 'Giving Thanks,' and the next day is devoted to 'Gimmie Gimmie.'

Now before I get accused of being a religious fanatic, I ask you to think about this. Doesn't this sound like something the devil would do to profane a sacred holiday? What a better way of distracting us from thanking God for the good things we have than to incite us into wanting more, more, more?

Of course, there are those of us who, for various reasons, do not believe in God or the devil, but we do believe in what we see. And what we see is people fighting against each other to the point of getting dangerous over material things. Is this what the Holiday Season is about? No way, Jose!

 People have actually been killed during Black Friday shopping. I don't even feel safe being in a shopping center parking lot during that day, as people are driving through there without any regard to courtesy or safety.

Say it with me, Folks. The Holiday Season is supposed to be about Peace and Good Will. The word, 'holiday' comes from 'holy day.'  It is appropriate to start off the Holiday Season by remembering to be thankful for the all the good things we have. What a pity that we have lost our perspective on the Holiday Spirit so completely. Should we blame the merchants, or should we blame ourselves for letting them con us the way they have?

I suggest we ask ourselves what we can do to bring the Spirit back into the Season, rather than how much money we can spend.