Thanksgiving lost amid day after deals

Nathan Grote, Editor

Thanksgiving is a relatively easy holiday to understand.  You get together with the people close to you, eat a whole lot of food, converse, and be thankful for whatever you have to be thankful about.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that demands very little of us (except for the brave souls that prepare the meal), but with every year that goes by it seems more and more that it’s just a hurdle to get over before the true holiday spirit can be indulged: shopping.

Maybe I just didn’t take notice of it when I was younger, but I don’t remember this sort of manic attention being paid to the day-after-Thanksgiving shopping trip.  At this point, it has almost become a holiday unto itself.

Something about a holiday recognizing nothing but commerce doesn’t sit well with me.  Isn’t it enough with the unsolicited flyers choking our mailboxes, the deceiving online offers, and the advertising feces dropped all over the landscape?  Now advertisers have created this event that has people, some still full of stuffing and pumpkin pie, standing out in the cold, in the middle of night, salivating over 50% off so-and-so’s.

To draw as much profit as possible out of the Christmas season, advertisers have gone to great lengths to get us in the holiday (i.e., buying) spirit just as soon as they can.  I was in a local retail store in the middle of November this year, looking up at big “Merry Christmas” banner strung up just inside the entrance.  But of course there weren’t any mistletoes hanging around, otherwise people would too quickly forget what they had come in there for in the first place.

Needless to say, I won’t be combing through catalogues or clipping out coupons over the next few weeks.  I won’t be haggling with clerks to get just the right thing for my ex brother-in-law’s sister’s second oldest daughter, and I probably won’t even buy any gifts until the 22nd or 23rd.  But what I will do is have some hefty meals with my friends and family, sit around, be merry, and have my feet, comfortably in their Christmas socks, up through most of it.