The Forgotten Thanksgiving

If you’ve turned on the television over the last couple of weeks, you have definitely noticed that every other commercial seems to have a Christmas theme to it.

Whether it’s an ad for Hershey Kisses in red and green wrappers set to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” or one for the latest editions of the Hess toy truck, the commercialization of Christmas has definitely diluted the true meaning of the season that Linus spoke about in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

But there is also another side effect of all of this merchandising that many people do not often think about: What happened to Thanksgiving?

That line about Christmas coming sooner every year has become something of a running joke. But in recent years, whether people have noticed it or not, Thanksgiving has become less of a holiday and is now probably best known as just the day before Black Friday.

Over the last few years, more and more stores have been taking away turkey day as a day off for their employees in the name of turning a profit and 2013 will be no different.

Walmart recently announced that, in addition to giving employees who work on Thanksgiving extra holiday pay, the retail giant will also be providing workers with a 25 percent discount off a future purchase and a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

NBC News online also reported that stores like Best Buy, Kmart, Toys-R-Us and Target will also be offering employees additional holiday pay.

Despite these stores remaining open to try and stay competitive, people have started Facebook groups and made their opinions known that they will not be doing any shopping on Thanksgiving.

Contrary to this, NBC also reported that the value of Black Friday weekend reached $59.1 billion.

Between Black Friday and the early onset of Christmas, Thanksgiving has simply become lost in a flurry of red tags and colored lights. The fact that Black Friday has become more of a holiday than Thanksgiving, should be cause for alarm. Turkey day used to be about getting together with family, watching football, the Macy’s parade and eating until you slip into a food coma.

Now it’s the day to set up a tent in front of Best Buy to get a deal on the latest Apple gadget and make sure you get it before all the suckers who waited until 3 am Friday morning to head out and buy theirs.

This practice of stores opening on Thanksgiving is unfortunately not going to change anytime soon. As long as they continue to offer such huge discounts, people will continue to shop on whichever day those bargains are offered.

However, it is a shame that these savings are coming at the expense of a traditional American holiday.

This year, let’s not make Thanksgiving “the forgotten holiday” and try to be thankful for something a little more meaningful than the great deal on the new big screen in the living room.