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The Ungrateful Demise of Thanksgiving
The Washington Dispatch ^ | November 6, 2003 | Frank Salvato

Posted on 11/06/2003 8:36:24 AM PST by The Rant

Well, Halloween is over and the retailers in the United States have already started hawking the latest gizmos for Christmas. Ah, who am I kidding, they have been doing it since June but it seems to grate on me just a bit more now that we are preparing for Thanksgiving, the forgotten holiday. Suddenly, a holiday that encompasses everything that we should be doing, giving thanks for all of the good things we have in our lives and giving the narcissism that sometimes creeps into them a rest, stands overshadowed by the force-fed industrialism of our retail community. Never before have we so needed to embrace this time of reflection.

Every day we are inundated with what is wrong in the world. The media bombards us with political scandals, conflicts from around the world and a nauseating plethora of contemptuous political correctness along with those very vocal miscreants that support it. Common sense is so out of the picture that if envisioned it would look like a cowering puppy that has sought out the security of the space underneath the bed of the world in order to avoid its abuse. We all know the correct things to do regarding any given situation yet we have to cow-tow to the overly vocal special interest nags that total the most miniscule of minorities as they garner the largest of media coverage. At the end of the day we want to erupt in frustration because what should have been a simple and happy day has turned into a session of complaining, impractical demands and 24 hours of visionless twaddle.

We need Thanksgiving yet we charge from Halloween to Christmas. We need the break from our everyday lives and the opportunity to get together with friends and family without the expectation of anything but camaraderie. We need to spend time with those we seldom see throughout the year just as much as we need to realize our appreciation for those who we see every day.

So many times we see people missing those who have left us, be they loved ones and friends who have slipped the surly bonds of earth or people who have moved on from the realms of our lives. I know I have lost too many friends through the hand of God, friends that I wish I could talk to one more time just so I could tell them how important they were to me and that they helped me to enjoy and appreciate my life. I would like to be able to talk to my own Father once again just to tell him that I am bigger than any disagreements we may have had and that I love him for who he was and not what I expected of him. I wish I could tell my Grandmother just one more time that she is precious. To carelessly gloss over one of the most opportune times of the year, a time for reflection and thanksgiving, is to miss one of life’s few golden opportunities to re-invest in ourselves, our friends, our families and humanity.

As the drone of the talking heads rages on through the electric wonderland that is the television, as we read about all the bad that exists in the world courtesy of the editorializing rag merchants, how can we not be saturated with it all? How can we not need a moment, if but once a year, to stop, turn off the electronic chatter box, put down the pressed pulp that once was a tree and embrace those that we have taken for granted, albeit unwittingly, over the course of the year? How can we be too busy to pass up the opportunity to let those who are important to us understand how we feel? How can anything be more important than allowing ourselves the opportunity to share appreciation and love with those who are important to us?

The cash cow of Halloween has given way to the commercial onslaught of Christmas. And as many of us start making our shopping lists and getting Christmas cards out of the way I say you can count me out of all of those activities until after November 27th. While I love the warmth that Christmas has to offer I believe that the spirit of Thanksgiving is just as powerful if not more so. While the stores have their pre-Thanksgiving sales I will be thinking about those that are important to me, those who I can expect to see over the holidays and those who have moved on. I will be giving thanks for them, that they have even graced my life. Perhaps if everyone took the time to do this the world would be a bit less ruthless…if just for one day.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Frank Salvato is a political media consultant, a freelance writer from the Midwest and the Managing Editor for TheRant.us. He is a contributing writer to The Washington Dispatch, OpinionEditorials.com, AmericanDaily.com and the Free Republic Network. He has appeared as a guest panelist on The O’Reilly Factor and his pieces are regularly featured in Townhall.com, GOP-USA & The Iconoclast.com and occasionally featured in The Washington Times and The London Morning Paper as well as other national and international publications.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: commercialism; family; holiday; holidays; reflection; retailers; thanksgiving; turass
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A departure from the politics for the moment.

As always, comments on the content, sans the personal attacks and grammatical corrections, are greatly appreciated. Thank you fellow FReepers and Happy Thanksgiving.

1 posted on 11/06/2003 8:36:25 AM PST by The Rant
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To: The Rant
I don't forget Thanksgiving . . . after two months of rehearsal and two months of Festival, Thanksgiving Day is my first chance to sleep in after Labor Day.
2 posted on 11/06/2003 8:37:38 AM PST by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I'll defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: The Rant
I feel exactly the same as the author. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday for all of the reasons he outlined.
Thank you for posting this valuable and appropriate commentary. Rest assured I will be e-mailing it to about a zillion people. BTTT
3 posted on 11/06/2003 8:42:49 AM PST by truthkeeper
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To: truthkeeper
Agreed. I drive my wife crazy with my refusals to do any Chrstmas-related things until after Thanksgiving. She always wants to run around and plan everything out, I just want to enjoy the season and reflect before I let the craziness sink in. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and strive hard to keep "the meaning of the season" for my family. But I hate it when we just gloss over Thanksgiving. It is an important time.
4 posted on 11/06/2003 8:51:13 AM PST by cspackler (There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary and those who don't.)
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To: The Rant
We first noticed this about 5 years ago.

We went to our local Target to buy some welcome door mats and other Thanksgiving stuff after Halloween.

There was nothing in the store beside sales on Halloween and Christmas decorations.

The local manager was as frustrated as we were. His previous Thanksgiving sales of Thanksgiving decorations had been excellent.

However the management of Target at that time decided to pencil out Thanksgiving.

Since then it has gotten worse. The managers at the local Walmart have figured out a way to get by this. They stock up heavy on items in their home decoration department that are great for Thanksgiving.

Forget the independents and other chains. They were running Christmas ads and stocking Christmas stuff before October was barely underway.
5 posted on 11/06/2003 8:52:22 AM PST by Grampa Dave ("If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less.")
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To: Grampa Dave
And we should not forget that almost every grocery-store, and even some national automotive stores, are going to open on Thanksgiving to help their customers who may have some last minute shopping to do. The only thing thankful in commercial America about Thanksgiving is that they can have another day to sell. And I guess the people who have to work on these days have nothing to be thankful for nor families to celebrate or reflect with.

What happened to the America that even gasoline was not sold on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year?

a really Old Patriot

6 posted on 11/06/2003 9:03:34 AM PST by old patriot
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To: cspackler
Well, you have a kindred spirit here. I especially liked this passage:

I would like to be able to talk to my own Father once again just to tell him that I am bigger than any disagreements we may have had and that I love him for who he was and not what I expected of him. I wish I could tell my Grandmother just one more time that she is precious. To carelessly gloss over one of the most opportune times of the year, a time for reflection and thanksgiving, is to miss one of life’s few golden opportunities to re-invest in ourselves, our friends, our families and humanity.

7 posted on 11/06/2003 9:16:34 AM PST by truthkeeper
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To: truthkeeper
Very nice....
8 posted on 11/06/2003 9:17:38 AM PST by dwd1 (M. h. D. (Master of Hate and Discontent))
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To: old patriot
What happened to the America that even gasoline was not sold on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year?

Now there's an odd thing to be nostalgic about.

9 posted on 11/06/2003 9:34:18 AM PST by Physicist
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To: The Rant
If the stores don't carry Thanksgiving trinkets any more, I really don't care as long as my butcher has the Big Bird. I can make all my decorations, centerpieces, table settings or whatever.

If I need some paper turkey pictures anywhere, I'll just hang a pic of Bubba and Hilly on the front door, LOL.

Leni

10 posted on 11/06/2003 9:39:54 AM PST by MinuteGal
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To: Physicist
When everyone was home with their families, and almost no cars on the road because they were already there, there were almost no gasoline stations open. But with credit card sales for everything, including candy and sodas, the only things still closed on Thanksgiving are houses of worship. Take a look at the lines at the cinemas on this upcoming Thursday and see how many people are not home with their families.

I wax nostalgic for a simpler time when gasoline was the least of our worries, and getting there was not something to contemplate.

Old Patriot

11 posted on 11/06/2003 9:40:46 AM PST by old patriot
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To: The Rant
Why Thanksgiving has declined.

Our nation has so much that food seems commonplace. For a dollar it comes cooked out of a window while you wait in your car, not from planting in the spring. Harvest time isn't even a memory in many families.

Christianity is not as culturally common.

Families are smaller.

Cooking a feast is no longer fun for women who work.

It's on Thursday.

12 posted on 11/06/2003 9:44:32 AM PST by JmyBryan
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To: The Rant
The demise of Thanksgiving probably began in 1939, when FDR moved it from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday of the month -- specifically to increase the length of the Christmas shopping season.

Thanksgiving was always an odd holiday because it seemed to be celebrated at the wrong time of the year. President Lincoln originally intended to set aside a day of thanksgiving on behalf of the nation in the aftermath of the Civil War, but it has morphed into a silly reflection on Pilgrims, the Iroquois Indian named Squanto, etc. There is nothing about a late November holiday that bears any connection to a "thanksgiving" for a good harvest -- most of the crops grown in the U.S. would have been harvested long before then. In that respect, Canada's Thanksgiving Day -- which is celebrated on the second Monday in October (Columbus Day in the U.S.) -- holds more closely to a true day of thanksgiving in an agricultural sense.

13 posted on 11/06/2003 10:20:32 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("To freedom, Alberta, horses . . . and women!")
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To: The Rant
Well, since Thanksgiving has no commercial life, it's not surprising that retailers shift to Christmas right after Halloween.

That does not, however, mean that Thanksgiving is a forgotten holiday. It will be remembered all over this country by the families that gather together once again to give thanks for the good things they have.

In a sense, Thanksgiving is closer to a pure celebration that Christmans has been for many years now. No big commercialization, no fake hoopla...just families celebrating this wonderful holiday.

I think this writer was way wrong.
14 posted on 11/06/2003 10:25:12 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: The Rant
Thanksgiving is a cash cow for the grocery stores. It's always been the most overlooked of the big holidays, has the fewest TV specials, the least decorations, and the most private traditions. Within the American pantheon of holidays Thanksgiving has the smallest circle, Halloween is about kids and neighbors, Christmas is about friends and family, Easter is about church, Independance day is about barbeque, Thanksgiving is just family.

It's a private little holiday, quiet in its sincerity, which is just how I like it.
15 posted on 11/06/2003 10:26:06 AM PST by discostu (You figure that's gotta be jelly cos jam just don't shake like that)
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To: The Rant
So retailers have forgotten Thanksgiving. So what.

I, for one, am grateful that Thanksgiving is almost completely non-commercial. Retailers can continue to forget Thanksgiving.

Friends, family, food and football. It really hasn't changed at all over the past 40 years or more. It remains quite traditional. Perhaps that's why its my favorite holiday.
16 posted on 11/06/2003 10:28:34 AM PST by kidd
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To: old patriot
Not in Tucson they won't be. In Tucson any item that can't be purchased at a convenience store or Denny's has to wait until Friday. I actually enjoy going for a drive on Thanksgiving afternoon, it's like a post apocalypse movie, all alone in the city.
17 posted on 11/06/2003 10:28:45 AM PST by discostu (You figure that's gotta be jelly cos jam just don't shake like that)
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: JmyBryan
That's funny because, we are a family of three, not religious and rarely cook because we all have different eating habits and hours. Yet, we look forward to Thanksgiving and we ALL cook. This year, we're having some friends over - - that means three vegans and three omnivores! There will be turkey and something for everybody - - along with the paper turkey centerpiece my daughter made in the 4th grade.
19 posted on 11/06/2003 11:00:05 AM PST by stanz (Those who don't believe in evolution should go jump off the flat edge of the Earth.)
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To: truthkeeper
Ref post 3.

My exact thoughts and feelings. Thank you.

20 posted on 11/06/2003 11:01:54 AM PST by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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