The nightmare before, during, after Thanksgiving

a woman shopping for thanksgiving

By Emily Reeves


There’s one time a year when tempers run high, money gets stretched, people fight pointlessly and the same five freaking songs play on a loop— Christmas. More accurately, almost two entire months before Christmas. It’s honestly getting out of hand.

            I understand why stores start setting up for Christmas right after Halloween— it’s a good business decision. More people buy Christmas decorations than Thanksgiving and retailers need to advertise presents. I even understand why they play the music early, it’s also a good business decision— brainwashing and all that. After all, what do businesses in America do better than convince us to buy things we don’t need at prices we can’t afford?

            Are we really adopting these habits outside of business? Honestly? There’s a whole holiday tied to the founding of our nation that gets overlooked in the process. Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of reflection— a time for us to be aware of all the things we have and be humble because we’re blessed.

Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate family, not buy toys for children who don’t even have food because we don’t find it important enough to give our time and money to make sure they have the essentials. It is not a time to max out our credit cards on gaming systems for children too young to understand what true blessings are.

            Instead we get wrapped up in wrapping and shopping and put ourselves in unreasonable debt to try to make everyone around us happy. We start looking forward for one day of the year, completely losing track of everything in the moment— forgetting the spirit of Thanksgiving.

            I understand that Thanksgiving is purely an American holiday and everyone else is free to start looking forward to Christmas right after Halloween. I also understand the concept of “Christmas Spirit,” but I can’t think of a lamer excuse.

            Why are we so wrapped up in “Christmas Spirit”? Why is it only important to give to others only at this time of the year? It’s a temporary Band-Aid over the bullet wound that is American selfishness, conceit and self-importance.

            We should slow down and appreciate Thanksgiving for what it is without the threat of a man in red hanging over our heads. We need to take the time to understand that what we have is amazing and appreciate it before getting wrapped up in our consumerist society, and for crying out loud, stop playing Mariah Carey’s Christmas album starting Nov. 1!

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