Thanksgiving Has Become a Speed Bump

There used to be this holiday in the United States called “Thanks Giving”. It was kind of a big deal. There was the build up to the big day, the dinner with family, sitting around watching football, and yes it was the kick off to the Christmas Holiday season.

Over the last few years things have begun to change though. Store now have Christmas decorations up at the beginning of October. The holiday season has shifted and is now Halloween and Christmas with Thanksgiving feeling like a speed bump in between. And this year Thanksgiving got pushed aside just a little bit more with a number of major retailers announcing that “Black Friday” shopping sales would begin on October 29. I’m sorry, I think it sucks.

I know the economy is down, and that retail sales for Christmas are once again on target to be off for the 2010 season, but seriously it isn’t even Halloween yet. The New York Times is reporting that retailers including Sears, Wal-Mart and Target are offering big promotions to lure shoppers before  well before Thanksgiving. Sears started its “Black Friday Now” deals on Friday the 28th, and Toys R Us is putting all the items in its Christmas toy book on sale starting on Sunday the 31st, the newspaper reports.

I want Thanksgiving back. I miss it. The holiday is about giving thanks, being grateful for what you have, and giving to those in need. There is something really wonderful about the fact that it is this non-consumerism based holiday. Yes I know people spend a ton of money on food , but the heart of the experience used center around family, friends, community and being truly thankful for what you have.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the rush to Christmas shopping was slowed, and the 4 weeks between Halloween and the third Thursday in November actually felt like a build up to something awesome; instead of a build up to the day things go on sale for Christmas? I think this year I am skipping sending Christmas cards and I’m going to send Happy Thanksgiving cards instead. That is if I can even find any amongst the piles o Christmas cards that have been on store shelves for weeks now.

The thing that is really sad is, if you ask people what the history of Thanksgiving is, what is supposed to really be about, most people can’t tell you.