Bring back Thanksgiving! Please, no Christmas decorations until Black Friday…

November 11, 2009

in marketing at work,this i believe

Veterans Day.

I always thought it is a fitting coincidence that Veterans Day falls in November, right before Thanksgiving.

As you know, Veterans Day is celebrated in other parts of the world.  On November 11, 1918, at 11 am (Paris time), the Germans signed the Armistice that officially ended World War I.  The day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day (also as Remembrance Day in Europe).  In 1954, the U.S. Congress passed and amended an act to officially make November 11 the Veterans Day, honoring all veterans, and not just those who served in World War I. What took them so long?!

I don’t think I will be able to say anything more eloquently, more heartfelt, than this blog post, “The Greatest Casualty is to be Forgotten“. As she put it so well, you don‘t have to support war to support a Veteran.

Thus begins my tirade against the demise of the significance of Thanksgiving in the face of overwhelming commercialism…

Are you ready for this?

I started campaigning for a forced postponement, a temporary deferral, of celebrating Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving Day four years ago.  I even registered for the domain name: BringBackThanksgiving.com (which is still available… Any takers?)  I stopped paying for it after two years when I realized that with a full time job and three boys to take care of, I simply did not have the capacity to deal with Microsoft FrontPage. (Yikes. Do you remember the days, the days before Blogger, WordPress, etc. when one had to use a software such as FrontPage in order to have one’s own website? *shudder*)

“Curb your enthusiasm!” I beseech you.  “As you recover from the sugar high from all the Halloween candies.  As you dispose of the spider webs, the goblins, the mummy tombs, the rotten carved pumpkins.”

Please, oh, please don’t switch directly from Orange and Black to Red and Green.  However tempting it is when you move all the Halloween boxes down to your basement and see all the Christmas boxes beckoning at you. The smiling Santa with the chubby cheeks.  The snowman. The reindeer.  Resist the temptation: Didn’t Jesus die on the cross partly to teach us this lesson?  Be strong for the sake of your children.

The children need you to show them that, Yes, you believe in the meaning and significance of Thanksgiving Day. Yes, it is important that we take one day out to deliberately remember and show gratitude to all the people who add meanings to our lives, to all the material goods that we are blessed enough to own. To strangers who give you a smile in the street and thus brighten your day. To strangers who by merely doing their jobs are making the world a better, safer place.

My heart aches upon seeing houses adorned with Christmas lights right after, sometimes even before, Halloween.  Of course I am not intimating that the homeowners are therefore not thankful.  No siree.  I am simply dismayed that the significance of Thanksgiving, the arguably ONE holiday that we should all be able to agree on and celebrate, is undermined sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.

(I admit: I may be putting my foot in my mouth by saying this. I have no clear idea how the native Americans take this holiday though I suspect there must be a lot of conflicting feelings. Do they sometimes wish that Squanto were not so kind as to assist the pilgrims? FWIW, by reading “Thanksgiving: A Native American View” and “Teaching About Thanksgiving“, I am convinced that Thanksgiving is indeed deeper and bigger than just the Pilgrims and the Indians… I hope I do not offend should anyone of Native American descent stops by this post…)

I blame the turkey.

You heard me right. It is the turkey’s fault. In terms of merchandising, turkeys are just not as attractive as say, bunnies, chicks, Santa Clause, snowman, reindeer, and so on.  I have not seen any child hugging a plush Turkey toy lovingly.

turkey

To be honest, that red thing hanging down the throat freaks me out.  Pardon me for being crass, but it always reminds me of testicles. I don’t know why. But it does.

Many, especially Hallmark (bless their heart!), have tried to turn the turkey into an adorable icon:  but seriously, how adorable can you make a turkey?

Turkey for eating

Even more sickening is that in these cutesy depictions of turkeys, they are all forced to celebrate the event in which they will be slaughtered, cooked and eaten! The abomination!

No cute icons, no easy way for merchandising. No easy way for merchandising, no rampant commidification of Thanksgiving. No rampant commidification of Thanksgiving, no shelf space at your local drugstores and grocery stores.

(I am grateful for no longer being in the academia which affords me the opportunity to posit theories full of holes and preaches them on the Internet with no qualms… I am like Glenn Beck on an anti-Turkey path…)

But with your help, we can stem the tide.  We can start it from inside of our homes.

Perhaps we can all start a tradition of having each one of the family members mention one thing that they are grateful for, every day, in the month of November.  No matter how small or how trivial.

Perhaps we can start a quiet movement to resist the Red and Green color scheme from popping up inside of our own houses. Until the day after Thanksgiving.

On the morning of November 27 this year, I am moving up the Christmas Tree from our basement first thing in the morning.  I am really looking forward to it. And to optimize my effort of transforming my house into a winter wonderland for Christmas, I shall keep the decorations up until after Valentine’s day. Thank goodness for the lllloooonnnngggg winter here. That is, of course, until one of you starts a campaign for bringing back Valentine’s Day…


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“Bring Back Thanksgiving!” Number One, baby! | The Absence of Alternatives
November 16, 2009 at 11:01 am

{ 21 comments }

Robin November 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

You don’t have to worry about me, I shun xmas entirely.
.-= Robin´s last blog…Dear Kevin =-.

Absence Alternatives November 12, 2009 at 6:01 pm

@ Robin
I guess you could count that as Reason 251 for not having children. 😉

Diane November 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm

This is hilarious. I think Jesus JUST MIGHT HAVE died on the cross to save us from being really stupid about stuff. I mean, really, it was a bold move and it should include more than just simply all of our sins and the going to heaven thing.

I’m doing my part to not start Christmas right after Halloween by making a vow, about 25 years ago, to NOT STRESS OUT ABOUT CHRISTMAS. It’s hard, but you can do it. I don’t worry and I don’t go AGHK when I look at the calendar or some idiot on Facebook says, “42 days ’til Christmas!:) LOL”

Jane November 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Putting up Christmas lights on a private residence BEFORE Halloween? Are you kidding me? I was in Hallmark at the first of October and when I went to pay for my items the clerk apologized for the mess. I said, “Oh. Getting ready for Halloween?” And she looked at me like I was crazy and said, “No. Christmas.” Me? Crazy?
.-= Jane´s last blog…Before You Speak Walk A Mile In Their Shoes =-.

Absence Alternatives November 12, 2009 at 10:57 pm

@ Diane
Thank you for stopping by! I know. I try not to get all indignant about this. I don’t see the turkeys getting their knickers in a twist over this… 😉

Absence Alternatives November 12, 2009 at 10:59 pm

@ Jane
No kidding! I was all upset about it, as usual over inconsequential things, but my husband said “Maybe those are for Halloween.” White lights for Halloween? Yeah.

Falling November 13, 2009 at 12:40 am

OK, when you form your anti-early-Christmas army, I have a list of footsoldiers, starting with my immediate family. And I happen to love Christmas…it really is my favorite holiday. But I still don’t think it needs to be on anyone’s mind until December 1st.

Also, I will totally join you in finding it creepy when animals are used to promote their own…meat. Like when a happy pig advertises a pork sandwich. Creeeeepy.

Insofar as making turkeys cute and marketable, it’s usually surefire to use the baby versions of whatever (full-grown raccoons? vermin. BABY raccoons? cute!) to increase appeal. However, I have my doubts that baby turkeys (Google image that phrase for evidence) are going to sweep the nation. Maybe if they all wore little hats…I like animals in hats.

Unknown Mami November 13, 2009 at 12:49 am

Christmas is cool and all, but it can wait its turn, no need to cut in front of Thanksgiving.
.-= Unknown Mami´s last blog…Fragmented Fridays =-.

Absence Alternatives November 13, 2009 at 1:13 am

@ Falling
LOL. Please give my best regards to your family, after they question you for why you talk to strangers on the internet… I have just the book for you:

http://www.amazon.com/Macaroni-Cheese-Hot-Dogs-Peas/dp/0570070449

It features a pig explaining to the kids where hot dogs come from. Seriously. My mother-in-law gave it to my children: it is some religious book because God made everything. Not making this up.

And you will love Hallmark’s Thanksgiving cards then. Most of the turkeys wear a pilgrim hat.

Absence Alternatives November 13, 2009 at 1:13 am

@ Unknown Mami
Thank you very much for your moral support! :-)

Robin November 16, 2009 at 10:46 am

@ Absence Alternatives
I’ve always said if I ever did have children i refuse to celebrate xmas, which would probably be the reason we would get a visit from DSS.
.-= Robin´s last blog…Away We Go =-.

Absence Alternatives November 17, 2009 at 7:12 am

Yes you would. Unless you are Jewish… then you make it up by giving 8 presents.

GrandeMocha November 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm

My son went to a Build a Bear party 11/15 and made a turkey. It is huggalbe and adorable!
http://www.buildabear.com/shop/productdetail.aspx?ProductSKU=13755&Category=Thanksgiving&CallingPage=ProductSummary

Absence Alternatives November 17, 2009 at 7:13 am

Thank you for coming by my blog. It is really cute! My son’s birthday is the day before Thanksgiving and lately he’s been singing a turkey song. I may just take him there to get a stuffed turkey!

Jen @ NathanRising November 16, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Oh, I totally empathize with you… Like you, we put up absolutely no Christmas decorations until AFTER Thanksgiving.

I’ve noticed some stores are even putting up Christmas decorations BEFORE Halloween. It irritates me and makes me think about passively-aggressively knocking something down.

-Jen
.-= Jen @ NathanRising´s last blog…Nathan and His Antenna Appendages =-.

Absence Alternatives November 17, 2009 at 7:14 am

Dear Jen, they had them up in JULY in some of the stores in this area!!!!!

A Vapid Blonde November 17, 2009 at 6:51 am

Okay the cartoon turkey? Totally eating his testicles and giving you a carving knife and fork. It’s like…hey if you are going to eat me I will be damned if you get my balls, eat me…eat my balls.

On another note…NO HOLIDAY EVER!!! I mean EVER!!!! should be celebrated before another, only chaos will ensue!!! (do you need me to use more exclamation points to get my point across? probably not) I grew up with each holiday being decorated to the hilt! (apparently one more was necessary) Can you imagine how much more crazy we would look if while we had our tombstones up, that we also put out the reindeer and sled…hmmm, that would make you wonder about the whereabouts of Santa wouldn’t it know. Then we would have been known on the neighborhood as the family that put Santa in the incinerator.

P.S. You changed to thesis. I have another site that I have thesis on that is for my design work…that I have done almost nothing with. Let me know if you like it.
.-= A Vapid Blonde´s last blog…The Comfort of Daylight =-.

Absence Alternatives November 17, 2009 at 7:19 am

LOL. Your comment cracked me up. You need to go participate in Unknown Mammi’s “I Comment Therefore I Am” Meme. And thank you for agreeing that the red thing looks like testicles.

p.s. Yes I did! Because I am self-hosted, I am not able to access the WP themes (without having to install the files on my server. Yeah, like that’s going to happen…) So I was stuck with the one I was given. I do like my original one, but I have been looking for a cleaner look. So yesterday, like magic, Thesis appears on my dashboard next to the basic, blue heading/white everything else boring WP theme. I immediately changed it. I LOVE IT! It also comes with a lot of knobs, options, that you could tweak and change: font, size, color, etc. My original one does not let you change anything (unless you change the code, of course). Thesis is so much more flexible, again, for someone who cannot write code. Short answer: I highly recommend it!

Absence Alternatives November 17, 2009 at 7:21 am

One more thing: with thesis you could change the width of the columns to suit your needs. I think that is pretty cool.

Absence Alternatives November 17, 2009 at 7:22 am

Also, did you notice? I now get TRUE threaded comments. YES!!!

p.s. I LOVE USING EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!! In case you haven’t noticed…

A Vapid Blonde November 17, 2009 at 7:46 am

You have the meme here right…I will check it out later today….( I am also a big fan of elipses dot dot dot) Time for me to head out into the real world…(see) blergh.
.-= A Vapid Blonde´s last blog…The Comfort of Daylight =-.

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