by Erica Millwater
It seems that every year, “Trick or Treat” is immediately traded in for “Happy Holidays,” and candy is exchanged for wrapping paper. However Thanksgiving—sandwiched in between these two highest grossing holidays, according to nrf.com—loses its true meaning and importance in the shadow of these commercialized holidays.
This quick switch comes from the logic that the longer the holiday season, the longer the opportunity is to profit; for this reason, the season is stretched from early November to late December. However, it’s an unfortunate coincidence that Thanksgiving, America’s national day of gratitude, falls directly in between.
Thanksgiving will never be able to compete with the popularity that high-profile consumerism grants the holiday season, and it shouldn’t because that would go against its very purpose.
Thanksgiving is one of the few true American holidays with no religious, racial or ethnic boundaries. Unlike so many other holidays, it’s one in which we can embrace unity as a nation, and can sit around the dinner table and appreciate together.
It is designed to be the one day of the year that allows us to be humble and thankful for all that we have, and to take a break from the consumerism and greedy attitude that characterizes this nation. Thanksgivings’ principles, however, are being encroached upon by the holiday season ahead.
People rise from their dinner tables, on this day of appreciating what they already have, to buy more on Black Friday. The generosity, love and sharing embraced on Thanksgiving are tossed away as people get into fistfights over excessive material things.
Our nation needs to be reminded that the real tragedy is that the holiday season cannot compete with the unity and humility of Thanksgiving. Stores will not stop trying to profit. They will not wait for us to eat our meals and say our thanks. They will not delay their opening until after Thanksgiving Day. The premature holiday hype will not diminish with time.
The only solution is to make an individual choice to spend one day a year being grateful and embracing Thanksgiving to its very fullest—not as the forgotten holiday that reminds us Christmas and Hanukkah are in the near future.