I for one am greatly disturbed by the way we as a society have turned the Christmas holiday season into a two month (or longer) buying and selling marathon. It seems that each year the Christmas ads appear earlier and earlier. This year it started before Halloween. That means two months of Christmas blitz coming at us daily in the form of newspapers, television, radio, and directed adds from the internet. I think this ad blitz causes anxiety in adults and especially in children. The longer the ad season, the greater is the anxiety that is experienced. No wonder some many children get sick right before the holidays.
This year we took another step down the path of crass commercialism with the black Friday becoming black Thursday. Thursday, I course being Thanksgiving was always one of those great family holidays when the family would gather for a great meal, and an evening of togetherness and love. Not anymore. Now we have to time the dinner and the time spent together so that it does not interfere with the shopping plans. We now squeeze what used to be an all-day event into a couple of hours so folks can eat and run to the local Wal-Mart or Target or K-Mart or wherever to take advantages of the discounted (and not so discounted) items being offered. It is not only the shoppers who are losing out spending time with family, it is also those who are required to leave family on this holiday and go to work. For those who are not buying or selling, the rest are left alone at home. But this gives them plenty of time to reminisce how Thanksgiving used to be.
Where do we go from here? Next year will the stores open at 6:00 AM? Next year will the Thanksgiving dinner have to be times to allow for early morning shopping? Then it might be easier to postpone the Thanksgiving dinner to the next day, or the day before and that will be the demise of the traditional family Thanksgiving Holiday. This all came about of course due to the commercialization of Christmas. Christmas is and always will be a Christian Holy Day. The buying of gives represents the gifts given to the Christ Child by the three Wise Men. So it is supposed to be a remembrance, not a season of frenzied buying and selling. I know, I probably sound like an old fogey or a Scrooge trying to take the joy out of the season. But the truth is, it is just the opposite. I think the joy of both Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time spent with family. Not buying and selling and commercialism.
I am a realist. I know things are not going to change back to the way they were in simpler times. I am only hoping we can all look at where we are and where we are going and try to slow down, try to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas. As I recall, the true meaning is not PROFIT. I am working on a new Christmas Carol. “We three kings of Orient are, heading to Wal-Mart to fill up our car”.
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?