It’s that time again; when marketing minds make the grand sweep to obliterate all things autumn and jump head-first into shallow retail water with pure materialistic glee. November 1st is like a pre-pre-pre cursor to Black Friday, or as many retail giants now call it: Black Thanksgiving evening sometime after your hopefully early dinner.
Just as Santa can deliver toys to all of the world’s children in one magical night, so too can retail elves replace absolutely everything Halloween with everything Christmas overnight. I actually received an e-blast on November 1 from Starbucks letting me know that “the Red Cups are here!” like Paul Revere riding his horse through commercial land to let us know the Christmas invasion is underway. Whoa, boy. Grab the reins.
I have long been an advocate for the preservation of Thanksgiving. Why must we dismiss it? Why is it viewed as some kind of burden that we don’t even care to acknowledge because we’re all running around trying to stuff our stockings instead of stuffing our turkeys?
Thanksgiving deserves our full attention. There are valuable concepts that should be shared and valuable opportunities to slow down for a minute, be with our loved ones, and think about the good things we have instead of wondering what good things we’ll get next month.
Hate the idea of basting a bird? Fine. I do, too. Thanksgiving is more than a big meal; it’s a big deal. Tell someone that you are thankful he or she is in your life. Return a long-overdue favor as a way to say thank you. Teach your children to not take things for granted (like the 54 days between Halloween and Christmas) and show them how.
If we continue to allow marketers to tell us what’s important through calculated omission, we’ll find ourselves in a perpetual state of giving and receiving, without making room for the giving of thanks.