What happened to Thanksgiving?

 Posted by at 05:54  rants
Nov 232011
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Black Friday Freshworkshops

Image by adria.richards via Flickr

There is no question that our world and culture is degrading fast. The evidence is so overwhelming that there just isn’t any way to deny it. In fact it all

seems so intertwined and complex that it is even hard to find a loose thread to attack. But this week in the supermarket I realized something important- we have eliminated Thanksgiving.

 Does that mean the Football games are cancelled?

I don’t mean that it has been abolished or anything so blatant, what I noticed is that we have removed all the respect that we used to award our National Holiday.

My first clue was when the seasonal aisle at the supermarket was revised after Halloween. The candy and decorations were sold off at half price one day and the next day, the clerks were busy putting up the next holiday items. It was the first week in November and they were getting ready for Christmas. What happened to Thanksgiving- our national holiday? Last year I distinctly remember Thanksgiving decorations and gear. Not this year. Thanksgiving has stopped being a celebration of our country and become a convenient start of the Shopping Season, formerly known as Christmas.

No more last minute panic.

In the old days, you needed to get everything you needed for your Thanksgiving feast by Wednesday because it was almost a national rite for everyone to spend Thanksgiving overeating with friends and family. Smart people did it earlier because of the last minute shopping on Wednesday. But everybody knew to get it all done before Thanksgiving. On the big day itself, stores weren’t open because nobody needed to shop. They had an important holiday to celebrate.


These days the big event is not Thanksgiving. It is Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) with loads of shopping bargains. Instead of lying around digesting people were willing to get up early and stand in line to get special deals. What can I say? People are nuts.

But this year, Black Friday is not enough. Stores will start giving those special prices on Thanksgiving Day, opening in the evening or even all day. These days Thanksgiving, instead of being a day of national celebration marks the beginning of Shopping Season. All the major stores are open.

So much for our family’s celebration.

A consequence of this decision for our family and many others is that family members will be working all day on Thanksgiving. As a consequence, we will be celebrating our Thanksgiving on Tuesday. It is crazy. What we will do on Thursday we don’t know yet but it sure as heck won’t be shopping.

I’ve never understood the attraction of Black Friday but it always seemed a harmless way to use a day off and get your Christmas shopping done at the same time. But now, when the almighty dollar compels stores to start their selling on Thanksgiving, I draw the line. Something has gone terribly wrong with the country. We need to take time to celebrate our country with our families. It defeats the purpose of a holiday when it becomes a commercial event.

 So who’s to blame?

I don’t blame the retailers because their job is to make money and apparently there is more money to rake in by staying open. What I blame is the people who shop on Thanksgiving. Where are their priorities and why don’t they have a place to go and something more important to do than chasing bargains?

Place cards for Thanksgiving dinner 2008.

Image via Wikipedia

For me, I personally make a point of buying what I need before Thanksgiving. I don’t want to encourage any retailers or reward them for staying open or put any more families in our sorry state. But I’m clearly in the minority. Are any of you diehard Black Friday and now Thanksgiving Day shoppers willing

to share your thoughts? And for you old fashioned folk,has commercialization of Thanksgiving made your Holiday celebration more difficult? The Coots want to know.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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  15 Responses to “What happened to Thanksgiving?”

  1. I’m not a Black Friday shopper …. and count me in for being against it creeping into Thursday. I know there is money to be made, so hey – the shoppers won’t be there if the store doesn’t open. OK … we’re back to the chicken or the egg question.

    More importantly … Happy Thanksgiving to all the Coots!

  2. Nothing is sacred anymore. Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all the Coots.

  3. And the Coots wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving too. Maybe if enough of us draw the line at Thanksgiving Shopping, the retailers will have no choice but let their employees have the day off.

  4. Back at you Hansi.

  5. Disgusted with what Thanksgiving has become? No..I’m disgusted with what EVERY holiday that is SUPPOSED to mean something has become. Thanksgiving is just the latest one to fall.

    I won’t be spending a penny on the extended version of Black Friday, or the unextended version of it either. I won’t be spending any money buying Christmas presents either, unless you count the materials needed to MAKE the presents. I make every present I give, usually, but not always, an edible item of some sort.

    Doesn’t everybody do their Christmas shopping at Kroger?

  6. Kroger out here is know as Ralphs and they retreated to SoCal four years ago so no everybody doesn’t do their Christmas shopping at Kroger, But making presents- what a novel idea. Should i check your blog for ideas and inspiration?

  7. There’s a few ideas there. Justin is partial to the Rosemary Shortbread Cookies…says he’s gonna make ’em till the butter budget runs out.

  8. I’m cranking out tons of Pomgranite Truffels myself…until my Guittard Chocolate acct goes over limit.

  9. Pomegranate Truffles must be crunchy?

  10. Smooth as silk, Ralph. Smooth as silk.

  11. Black Friday is the day when retailers go from red profit to black. With this economy the Friday after thanksgiving may not provide this result. So retailers are trying to buffer the result with another day. If they are merely transferring Friday sales to Thursday this may not happen especially if they are paying premium wages to workers on Thursday. I am thinking that this may be the only year we see this issue. We can insure this by not shopping on Thursday.

  12. Judith,
    My son didn’t mention any premium. It might have helped his mood a bit. For me my Thanksgiving wish is that all the stores actually open on Thanksgiving go bankrupt.

  13. Bob,
    So what do you do with the seeds?

  14. Don’t use wole poms…just the essential oil.

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