This past weekend, some of my neighbors put up their outside Christmas lights. Major stores have had their Christmas displays up since the beginning of October. These same stores have announced that they will be open to start their big holiday sales earlier than usual…this Thursday. Crazy people are camped out in tents outside of these stores so that they can be the first to take advantage of these great savings.
And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.
WTF? If I were Thanksgiving, I would be PISSED! Talk about a holiday that has just been tossed aside to create further anticipation for the BIG holiday. It’s like Christmas is a Rolling Stones concert, and Thanksgiving is some crummy opening act that no one gives two shits about.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that Thanksgiving is BETTER than Christmas. Even I’m not that delusional. Yet, I kind of feel bad for Thanksgiving, in much the same way that I feel sorry for Mike McCartney, Paul’s younger brother. I mean, how could you ever measure up as far as riches and fame? Do you think it’s fun for Michael to be introduced to someone who immediately says “Wow, I’m a big fan of your brother! What’s he like?” Now imagine Thanksgiving walking into a bar and ordering a drink, and then someone finds out…they might immediately say “Wow, I’m a big fan of Christmas! What’s it really like?”
Thanksgiving has gotten screwed from the get-go. You see, Christmas Day has been December 25th since…well, since Christ was a kid, to coin a phrase. But Thanksgiving was always kind of a gray area, and even needed a presidential proclamation to make it official. Here’s a little history, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Thanksgiving in the United States, much like in Canada, was observed on various dates throughout history. The dates of Thanksgiving in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln had been decided by each state on various dates. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same date by all states was in 1863 by presidential proclamation. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 20th century. And so, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln (influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Joseph Hale who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday), to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November. It was not until December 26, 1941, that the unified date changed to the fourth Thursday (and not always final) in November -this time by federal legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt after two years earlier offering his own proclamation to move the date earlier, with the reason of giving the country an economic boost, agreed to sign a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth (not final) Thursday in November.” So you see, Thanksgiving doesn’t even have an official date…it’s just the fourth Thursday. Lame.
Look at the other ways that Thanksgiving has been shortchanged. How many songs are there about Christmas? Tons. How many songs are there about Thanksgiving? Two, and that’s a stretch. Everyone considers “Over the River and Through the Woods” to be a Thanksgiving song, but I don’t think it even mentions the holiday. Plus, there’s “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie, which just conveniently takes place on Thanksgiving.
Do people have big family get-togethers on Thanksgiving Eve like they do on Christmas Eve? Nope. But I gotta tell ya, Thanksgiving Eve has become quite a party night. A couple of years ago, I went with some friends from work to a happy hour on Thanksgiving Eve, and got ripped! Wow, what a fun night! I had to pick up my sister-in-law from the train station, and she had to drive us home. Never did THAT on a Christmas Eve.
So go ahead and camp out in front of Best Buy if you want. Put up your Christmas decorations, and totally ignore what I consider a pretty cool holiday. I’ll eat like a drunken sailor on Thursday, watch some football, have some great leftovers, and I’ll have Friday off so I can eat more leftovers and maybe think about putting up some Christmas stuff throughout the rest of the weekend.
Now go watch the Thanksgiving episode of WKRP in Cincinnatti…you know the one…”As God is my witness…I thought turkeys could fly”