Christmas overshadows Thanksgiving


Now that October and Halloween have passed, it’s time to start thinking of turkey, stuffing, and giving thanks, right?  Not necessarily!  For anyone who visits big chain stores such as Walmart and Target, it is obvious that the retail industry thinks otherwise.  With Christmas tree displays and boxes of bows and ribbon lining the shelves, it can be easy to overlook Thanksgiving – a holiday specifically for giving thanks and being appreciative of everything one has.  As Christmas activities and decorations are pushed out sooner and sooner, the question must be asked: how soon is too soon?  Marissa Massare, high school student, said, “I work at Big Spring Pharmacy and we currently are not open on Sundays. But this past Sunday, the day after Halloween, workers came in specifically to decorate for Christmas for six hours.  I think it is a little too soon, especially with it being the day after and coming in on a day we aren’t even open.”  With actions such as these taking place in such a local store, even small businesses seem to be buying into the idea that sooner is better.  

Along with Santa hats and tree ornaments, Christmas sales and gift catalogs are popping up earlier than they should.  Stores and organizations such as Target, Oriental Trading and PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) have already mailed out their holiday flyers to customers, setting the focus on purchasing gifts for a holiday that is over a month away!  For Black Friday, the infamous discount day of the year, the time of sales has slowly moved up earlier and earlier over the years, to the point where some stores like Michael’s, Rite Aid, and Sears have already announced their deals will begin as early as 4 pm on Thanksgiving day.  With sales like these starting so early, it is very likely that many people will disregard their family traditions, simply to save a few dollars on something that will probably be on sale again in the weeks before Christmas.  

Retailers may think they are doing good for their business and consumers by beating the competition and offering their goods sooner than anyone else, but they really are doing more harm than good.  By practically beginning the Christmas season immediately after Halloween, they are successfully overshadowing Thanksgiving, the holiday that keeps people humble and thankful for everything they are fortunate enough to have.  Consumers need to remember the values of Thanksgiving and be with what is important on that day: family.  Also, stores need to realize that Thanksgiving is just as important as Christmas, and the paraphernalia can wait until after the last of the turkey and cranberry sauce has been eaten.