Thanksgiving, as a national holiday, was created for the purpose of (hold on) giving thanks. Black Friday was created by the media for the purpose of whipping Christmas shoppers into a frenzy. Then people will watch the media more, so they can see the crazed shoppers desecrating the Christmas spirit (after they get home from shopping). We all know that Black Friday has become a circus. The only question is how many rings will be under the big top.
But in a bold and aggressive move, Black Friday has crossed the border into Thanksgiving and claimed territory as its own. With many stores opening late Thanksgiving evening, Black Friday is now 26 hours long, leaving Thanksgiving with 22 hours and a bloody nose. Gobble down that turkey and rush out the door to shop! Whose idea was this, anyway?
Of course, Thanksgiving was already reeling as a holiday, having been previously transformed into turkey day. Some still give thanks, but all eat turkey, even if it’s the tofu kind. In fact, in the popular Garfield Thanksgiving special, Jon Arbuckle is mocked and ridiculed by his date for attempting to relate the history of Thanksgiving. Poor Jon! As if he doesn’t have enough to deal with. The show is mainly about how to prepare a turkey dinner, which is what Thanksgiving is mostly about these days.
Hey, I’m all for capitalism. It’s proven itself to be the best economic model out there. But when consumerism starts to trample tradition, and push holidays around, it’s time to stop and take stock of who we are, what we’re doing, and what we believe.
Consumerism, and other factors, have largely secularized Christmas. It’s all about how much we spend. Now with Black Friday pushing into Thanksgiving, it’s getting worse.
I’m a fan of the hopeless, dippy Jon Arbuckle. And this time, he’s really got it right. We need to remember what holidays are for, and why they started in the first place. And believe me, it wasn’t about spending and deals and pushing and shoving to get the lowest price smartphone or notebook.
Maybe we should do our part to limit the circus to one ring. Let’s let Thanksgiving be Thanksgiving, and push Black Friday back where it belongs. The power rests in our hands. We can control when we shop.