Monday, November 19, 2007

The End of Thanksgiving as We Know It

Conservative religious figures want to put the "thanks" to god back in Thanksgiving. But they don't understand that Thanksgiving is being swallowed up by Christmas and Halloween altogether.

Lots of commentators notice that the Christmas season gets longer and longer and that's very much the truth in Morehead, KY. Walmart's had their decorations up for weeks, people are setting up Christmas trees, and our town's Christmas lights were strung up last weekend.

But Halloween is getting longer as well. Pumpkins and scary costumes are now out as early as September 1. In fact, I spent years fighting with my ten year old about her desire to buy a pumpkin in early September and finally got her to wait until Oct. 1. That's more than four weeks before the actual holiday.

Christmas and Halloween seem to be converging as well. In fact, the major Christmas decorations started going up as soon as Halloween decorations were taken down.

To the contrary, I can't remember seeing any Thanksgiving displays at the local stores. It seems like Thanksgiving is getting squeezed out by the other holidays.

But why?

Obviously, it's money. As the biggest commercial event of the year, Christmas obviously outshines Thanksgiving at the cash register. But Thanksgiving turkeys can't match up with Halloween costumes, candy, and extravagant Halloween parties either. As the more profitable holidays expand in national awareness, Thanksgiving shrinks into a fairly empty warm-up for the Christmas season.

But there lies the problem. If the Rev. C. Albert Mohler and Congressman Roy Blunt want more God in Thanksgiving, they're going to have to figure out a way to inject a lot more mammon into the holiday. Who says God and mammon don't go together?

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