Happy Black Friday or how Thanksgiving gets the shaft

Posted on November 26th, 2013

This is the story of poor, neglected Thanksgiving. You remember Thanksgiving, right? It’s the holiday that comes between Halloween and Christmas. There’s turkey. And pumpkin pie. And your Aunt Helen sticking olives on all of her fingers even though she’s a 107, if she’s a day and far too old to be doing that.  (Please don’t get me wrong – when I’m 107, I’m so going to act like Aunt Helen, because she rocks).

Anyway, Thanksgiving? Mashed potatoes? Cranberry sauce with the little can marks on it? Does that ring any bells? Oh, wait. You might also know it as the day before Black Friday. Or, as I like to call it, the Day We Eat a Really Good Dinner Before We Stand in Line at Wal-Mart for Twelve Hours to get a Great Deal on a TV That We Don’t Need.

See? I knew you’d remember.

It’s easy to feel sorry for Thanksgiving. It’s sandwiched between two holidays that are, frankly, more fun. I mean, on Halloween you get to dress up and eat candy. On Christmas there is the whole Santa thing. On Thanksgiving you get turkey. I mean, yes, it’s a great meal, but there’s no real build up for it, you know.

It’s not like November 1, everyone gets all dressed up in turkey t-shirts and starts the countdown to turkey dinner.  There’s no pilgrim tree in the living room. And nobody admonishes their children to be good so the Great Gobbler will bring them a drumstick on Thanksgiving Day.

I’m telling you, it’s really not fair. Thanksgiving just doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Did you know that there are no Thanksgiving songs? Okay, well, maybe there are a couple. But seriously? How can Adam Sandler singing the “Thanksgiving Song” with lyrics like “let’s eat turkey in my big, brown shoe” compare to “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing?” Or even “Monster Mash?”

And why doesn’t Thanksgiving have a mascot? Halloween has the Jack O’Lantern and ghosts and witches. Heck, the Fourth of July has Uncle Sam. Christmas has Santa. For pete’s sake, even Arbor Day has a tree. But Thanksgiving? A few anonymous pilgrims and a turkey that is destined for brining.  Thanksgiving doesn’t even get a Grinch.

It’s very sad. Even the decorations are leftover Halloween pumpkins and some dead leaves. It’s practically pitiful, as holidays go. Oh sure, Thanksgiving gets its own parade. But really, so does St. Patrick’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day gets leprechauns and beer, an incredible combination found in no other holiday.  And even if we acknowledge that the Thanksgiving Day parade is awesome – because it is – guess who ends the darn thing?

Oh, just…Santa. Yeah, Santa. The guy ushering in the Christmas season. I mean, Thanksgiving doesn’t even get an entire morning to itself when Christmas rushes in and takes over. By 9 AM PST, Thanksgiving is over and Santa and his elves have taken over the holiday season.

And then there’s the whole Black Friday thing. It used to be that Black Friday was on, you know, Friday. As in, the day after Thanksgiving. That gave us Thursday to visit with family, eat a huge dinner followed by pumpkin pie, slip into our turkey comas and then get up at 4 AM to shop. It was perfect. Thanksgiving got its own day and everyone was fat and happy in the mall the next day.

But now Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving. Many stores open at 10. Or 8. Or don’t even close on Thanksgiving. Heck, there’s barely enough time to eat a turkey sandwich and get your butt down to Target to get nutcrackers at half price.

Poor Thanksgiving. It used to be a day that everyone could celebrate, regardless of age, religion or political affiliation. A day that we shared our gratitude for everything in our lives. Sadly, it has become a conduit to getting more stuff at a cheaper price.

And for that, I’m not thankful.

However you spend it, please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

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One Response to “Happy Black Friday or how Thanksgiving gets the shaft”

  1. Agent 54 Says:

    I should be the mascot for Thanksgiving.

    I made a great list of what I’m thankful for and put it on my Agent 54 blog.

    What do you think?

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