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Thanksgiving under attack from Christmas

It is fair to say that November can be a tumultuous season. Every two years, there is an election of varying intensity right at the beginning of the month. Afterward, there’s Thanksgiving –– a time during which we all buy a metric ton of food to celebrate coming together and having a good time. Or, if you are a retail executive, it is to remind everyone that Christmas is just around the corner.

Just when America thought that it had survived “The Great Ad Blitz of 2012” (otherwise known as the 2012 general election) it must ready itself for the onset of the Christmas Marketing Offensive.


Thanksgiving has really lost a lot of its meaning in the modern era. It has been reduced to more or less the starting pistol shot of the Christmas shopping frenzy. Thanksgiving is almost an inconvenience for commercial America.

It is not hard to look for evidence of this impatience. Christmas decorations around Fort Collins started to go up in Old Town in late October. Hobby Lobby dug their Christmas merchandise out of storage a bit earlier than that. And they are not the only ones.

Consumers led by made a decent attempt last year to shame retailers into preventing what they call “Christmas Creep,” or the steady incursion of Chrismas items into stores well before December. The website’s editor, Chris Morran, told ABC in October 2011 that he had seen Christmas decorations go on sale as early as July and August.

It’s not surprising that retailers are trying to do this. Christmas is easily the biggest time of the year for retail, with many major outlets reporting sales well into the billions. No one is arguing that Christmas is a very profitable time of year.

That is totally fine. Hell, I do not have a problem with people capitalizing on the spirit of the holiday at all! Yay capitalism and all that. But do they really have to try and push Christmas into the summer months in order to milk as much money out of the season as possible? I know the economy is not in the best possible shape, but come on! Do we really need to enact John Hodgman’s “Emergency Christmas” plan and make everyday Christmas from here until the economy is better?

It might be extremely obsessive compulsive of me to want this, but is it too much to ask that we keep our seasonal holidays in their respective months? October is reserved for trick-or-treating, dressing up and watching scary movies. November is for stuffing myself silly with food and being thankful for what I have. And December is for buying gifts for my family and visiting my grandparents, and extended family.

In short, October is for Halloween, November is for Thanksgiving, and December is for Christmas. Period. It makes sense this way. No need for unnecessary confusion, or unnecessarily incensed OCD sufferers.

It is not like retailers are going to be losing money if they keep Christmas in December. Americans are hellbent on getting those seasonal discounts, if past Black Fridays are anything to go by. It is hardly difficult to get us to come out en masse to buy things from you in December; we literally crawl over, stab and trample one another to get to what you want to sell us.

The phrase “Shut up and take my money” is very apt in this circumstance.


So please. There is no need to start blitzing us with ads this Thanksgiving. We know that Christmas is coming and we know that you are eager to sell us whatever we need at a discount rate. Please let us actually enjoy our turkey (or tofurkey for you vegetarians out there) in peace. Let us actually be thankful for what we have this year, as opposed to being thankful that we decided to eat with the television and radio turned off and the internet disconnected.

We only just barely got through the general election with our sanity intact (well, most of us anyway). Political ads are awful enough without the barely-concealed threat of an avalanche of Christmas ads just around the corner. The cure for a solid year-and-a-half of sleazy mudslinging is not an onslaught of cheery Christmas advertising.

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