As the Thanksgiving grocery list nears completion and turkeys are reserved at farms and food stores, a lumbering giant casts a large, round shadow over that Thursday of food, family, football and forty winks.
With rosey cheeks, long white beard and an overweight man’s gait, Santa Claus continues his annual mission: to crowd the national consciousness as soon as the calendar flips from October to November, completely eclipsing Thanksgiving in the process. Many folks talk about a “war on Christmas,” arguing that the phrase “happy holidays” robs them of their Yule Tide pride. But the real national travesty can be seen on television daily—an endless parade of the red and green horror show that is Christmas consumerism.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving was the day that we, as a nation, gave thanks for our relatively bountiful blessings. Sure, the rent is too damn high, property taxes are constantly rising and utility companies are tightening their grip around our necks; but those of us who enjoy hot meals on a daily basis should give more thanks and complain far less.
But, as Christmas pushes its red nose deeper into November, Thanksgiving has become a mere formality—an inconvenient couple of hours that would be better off spent shopping for gifts at one of those thankless retail chains with the gall to open on Turkey Day. Instead of giving thanks and showing appreciation, we are on the run to fill that materialistic void in our lives—a void that you can bet your giblets will be there again next year.
The American year is filled with days that have some sort of consumer tie-in. Special shopping events that practically beg you to buy a mattress or a car or a TV this Thanksgiving, instead of emptying your wallet, fill your mouth with food and take a nap.