Why has Thanksgiving become the forgotten holiday?
I was at Whole Foods the morning after Halloween. The staff was busy tearing down decorations of leaves and pumpkins and replacing them with Christmas ornaments. I couldn't believe it. Just a few hours earlier, Halloween revelers were ringing doorbells. Now we're supposed to mentally segue from trick or treat to fa la la.
It's a shock to the system. In a blink of an eye Santa has replaced grimacing pumpkins.
What about turkey, darker hued autumn leaves, cornucopias filled with pumpkins and squash?
Of course there is a simple answer. Thanksgiving might be the least expensive holiday there is. All we need to buy is a turkey, some stuffing, potatoes and green beans. Done. We could probably get away with spending under $100 on this holiday—a piddling amount compared to Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, even Secretary's Day.
I suppose there is a way Thanksgiving could be commercialized. How about greeting cards and floral arrangements that express how grateful we are for that special someone in our life? Or a must-have 14-carat gold 'thankful' tiara for a loved one. What about pilgrim and Native American inflatables for your front lawn?
So there you have it. There isn't anything to merchandise, so our consumer-driven culture has opted to practically ignore poor Thanksgiving. Actually, some people have chosen to bypass it in favor of getting an early start to Christmas shopping. Last year in Los Angeles, stores and malls were opened on Thanksgiving evening through the next day so people could take advantage of their day off and partake in America's favorite pastime—shopping. Some people interviewed on television said they spent their Thanksgiving sleeping to prepare for their all-night-early-morning shopping spree. They wound up saving a few dollars on iPads and flat screen TVs but missed Thanksgiving dinner. They didn't seem to mind.
I guess they were thankful for their good deals. But I have a feeling that was never the intention of Thanksgiving.
It seems wrong. Thanksgiving should be about giving thanks and spending time with family. Thanksgiving should be acknowledged, not glossed over, and definitely not ignored.
Maybe you're already trimming the tree, but I'm going to find that inflatable pilgrim for my front lawn.