Whatever happened to Thanksgiving?


I’m a wee bit dismayed that Thanksgiving seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle between Halloween and Christmas marketing hype. 

I’m not ready to celebrate Christmas yet. I’m not even 100 percent sure I’m ready for Thanksgiving, and it was five days ago. I found a bowl of corn salad hiding in the refrigerator behind a big box of Christmas candies. I completely forgot to put it on the Thanksgiving buffet, so I guess I need a do-over.


Christmas seems to come earlier with each passing year. Didn’t we just put our tree on the curb a couple of weeks ago?

I noticed the first Christmas display in mid-October, while shopping for Halloween candy at Sam’s – a store which should have its own zip code.  

Don’t get me wrong. Lest you think I am a Grinch-loving Scrooge, let me assure you that I’m “Miss Christmas. “ Love everything about it – the music, the smells, the twinkling lights, the gifts, family gatherings, the Christmas Story.  It just seems kind of cruel to begin the public build-up in late October or early November, and then make kids wait two months before they can open their presents.

The over-exposure of all things merry and bright completely dilutes the great feeling you’re supposed to get when the actual holiday arrives. You’re too exhausted to enjoy it, and ready to pull out your hair if you have to listen to “Frosty The Snowman” one more time!

I’m reminded of my childhood when we went out and cut our cedar tree about a week before Christmas.  Any earlier, and you would have a dead tree on Christmas day.  Outdoor decorations consisted of a plastic wreath we plunked on the door around December 20. 

My mother subscribed to the theory that any house lit up with Christmas lights was gauche. She called them “honky tonk lights.” If she could see my house today, she would be so ashamed. 

I’m surprised I don’t get a pick-up truck load of winos trying to stop by my honky tonk hovel  for a nightcap.

Back in the day, we never heard of Black Friday, and I expect any store which opened on Thanksgiving Day would have been boycotted. These days, shoppers are  leaving the table before the pumpkin pie is served to buy a cheap flat paneled television set – never realizing the store probably had about three at those blockbuster prices.

I recall my daddy always doing  his Christmas shopping on Christmas eve between four and five p.m. 

Starting the Christmas hype machine before Thanksgiving meal has been digested  is bad enough. Starting it when it’s still 75 degrees and you’re still wearing Bermuda shorts and a tan from a bottle, is just insane.

Having said all this, I notice today is December 1.  So, let the Christmas games begin. 

7 thoughts on “Whatever happened to Thanksgiving?

  1. Emily,
    I think you’re using an old calendar. Dec 1 isn’t until Wed.
    I totally agree with your article on holidays being run together. The Black Friday sales started Thanksgiving night at 12, with the exception of those stores who were open all day T’giving. Seems like the stores are always trying to get “one up” on the next store by seeing who can open the earliest. The traffic was as awful as it is on Saturdays, here, and I never go to town on Sat., unless it’s an emergency. Wish everyone would boycott as you mentioned in your article and return to reflecting on the reasons for our holidays.

  2. Melissa (DIL) and I were in the Wal-Mart in Tupelo on Friday, and one woman and her daughter were asking one of the workers where the 42″ flat-screen Emerson t.v.’s were. The guy said they had had some, but they were gone. Their reply was, “But the manager told us you had some.” “Ma’am, we did, but they are gone.” “But I called and he said you had some. Where is the manager? We need to talk to him.” Now, the question that I wanted to ask her was this: You were just told that they HAD had some, but they were gone (sold). What do you think he can do??? I decided right then and there that listening to conversations while shopping on Black Friday was ALMOST as good as listening to conversations in a Waffle House–and I thought nothing could be that good!

  3. First let me say that on my calendar it says Nov. 29, not Dec. 1. But I agree that Thanksgiving gets a pass when we have Christmas open houses before Thanksgiving Day, and poinsettias are for sale everywhere the day after Thanksgiving.– we enjoy many of the same observations! Keep on informing us. This is a good message.

  4. Jenny – someone told me that a lady yelled at a guy at Walmart who was out of the tvs – told him he had RUINED Christmas for her family. Oh gee, has it come to that!

  5. EMILY
    I am just getting a chance to catch up on your column which Brenda told me about and I am having a blast reading past blogs……………You are so Gr8……………

    I just wanted to say, I was in Columbus on 11/23/10 dropping a friend off at work that had car trouble…………..turned the radio on and it was playing Christmas music…………….I had to turn the channel…………..I was not even thru Thanksgiving and was definitely not ready for Christmas

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