Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yup. It's the holiday season. I noticed it just after Labor Day and it was in full swing by November 1.  The stores were outfitted in their annual red and green. Television and radio stations started holiday-themed programming. Even Black Friday was moved ahead.  The first ad for it was in July.

There are a number of rants about the loss of the holiday season. Most people, when surveyed, say retailers start too early yet many of us support that by shopping on Thanksgiving and, frankly, our wallets speak much louder than words.

There are conflicting messages this time of year. The media tells us how to cook a turkey and decorate the table while at the same time it encourages us to forsake the meal and go shopping instead. We see stories about sharing and fellowship coupled with headlines about people being fired for trying to honor Thanksgiving.

What does "Christmas creep" say about us as a nation and a society? What are we telling ourselves, our children, and others in the world? That money is more important than family and friends? Our desire for things outweighs our need for togetherness?  The only thing we have to be thankful for is our credit cards? That a roasted bird and some whipped potatoes aren't nearly as much fun as shopping?

I suggest we remove Thanksgiving from the calendar and replace it with a national shopping day.  There would still be no mail delivery and most offices would closed so that people can shop. That would add a full day to the all-important shopping season. Wouldn't that make more sense than the pretense we now have? It would certainly be more honest.