With just under 50 days until Christmas, is it too early to start celebrating? Every year it seems as though stores initiate holiday sales sooner than years before. Even Santa makes an early appearance, visiting shopping malls prior to Thanksgiving. Many feel that the Christmas season has become an “ordeal,” which not only has lost its true meaning, but also begins prematurely.
Thanksgiving, a national holiday and opportunity to take stock and show gratitude for all that we have, seems to be almost overlooked in the hustle. Many Mt. Hebron students would agree and almost resent the seemingly blatant omission of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Freshman Emma Brandt is among those who are skeptical of the increasing sole focus on Christmas. Though she admitted, “Christmas is a very important holiday to celebrate,” she believes that Thanksgiving is no longer given the proper attention that it warrants.
There are many viable reasons to explain this Christmas fervor. Christmas is commonly associated with cookies, Santa, colorful lights, fresh-cut trees, special music, and, of course, lots of presents. These traditions of the season are all positive and able to ignite excitement in people of all ages. For businesses, the custom of Christmas gift-giving translates into a significant portion of their annual earnings. Perhaps this is the real reason the Christmas season is beginning earlier than ever.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with eager holiday spirit, “Thanksgiving should have more time because it is a very important holiday to America,” Brandt said. “We need to spend more time celebrating the founding of our country. Thanksgiving should be given more recognition.”
Sophomore Rees Draminski shared his opinion as well. While Draminski is enthusiastic about the fast approaching Christmas season, he agreed that it does tend to interfere with Thanksgiving celebrations.
“Thanksgiving, a wonderful holiday, [is] overlooked almost entirely,” Draminski said, attributing this to excessive holiday marketing.
Black Friday is possibly the consummate embodiment of this inordinate amount of marketing and has become the biggest shopping day of the year. While it offers unparalleled deals, it also presents many issues. Beginning at midnight (and even earlier) on Thanksgiving, many Americans choke down their turkey and grab a slice of pie “on the go” to line up outside of stores and shopping malls in hopes of snatching the best sales. This in turn has forced employees of these businesses to work on Thanksgiving, rather than to spend a relaxing and meaningful time with friends and family.
Santa Claus arrived at the Columbia Mall on November 7, just one week after Halloween. And holiday sales kick-started even earlier. For Wal-Mart, the holiday season began in August with their holiday layaway program. This year it was opened on August 28, two weeks prior to last year’s opening date. Target stores, in an effort to compete with Wal-Mart, created a Black Friday-style sale that took place even earlier in July.
So this year, try something new. Take the time to savor each day and each holiday as it comes. Before you flip the page on the calendar to “December,” be sure to remember and enjoy the blessings in your life and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.