I was in the store today, and I walked by a couple of children looking up at one of those great big inflatable snowman things that you put on your lawn. The kids were probably 6 and 8. The older one said to the younger one "That's Christmas, but I don't understand, because Thanksgiving is next", and the younger nodded in agreement.
YES!!!! They get it! Even children, who would be the ones you would think would be most happy to jump straight from Halloween to Christmas, to jump straight from candy to toys... these children get it, even if the advertisers do not. I wanted to go over there and hug them. (don't worry, I restrained myself)
I have to admit, I might be just a teensy weensy bit overzealous about this. But after all, Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. From the time I was a small child, Thanksgiving has been a very magical time in my family. It has always been a time for everyone to get together, and spend hours in the kitchen, cooking up favorite foods, laughing about 'old family recipes' (we stole them from an old family! - I still laugh at that joke), being surrounded by family, and wonderful aromas, and then sitting down to the most wonderful meal, ever. And then - oh my - the leftovers! And as the family has gotten older and become separated by geography, we've filled the seats at the table by adopting various friends and treating them as family, at least for Thanksgiving Day.
So when advertisers jump straight to Christmas, I'm afraid I get a little bit cranky.
I do understand that Thanksgiving means different things, to different people. For some, it means visiting friends and family, and maybe it means enjoying someone else's cooking. For others it means the opportunity to gather together family and friends and share some favorite recipes. Still others consider Thanksgiving a time to play and watch football. And for some, it's just one more day off work.
That's ok, I can be tolerant of others. After all, I do realize that there are those who actually enjoy drinking herbal teas.
BUT - I object to Thanksgiving being seen as 'that annoying holiday that gets in the way of Christmas sales'. Trust me, you really will sell just as many clothes, and toys, and electronics, and whatever else you're selling, if you wait to start running your ads until the day after Thanksgiving. Those who buy presents and decorations early, will do so whether you advertise or not. Those who wait til the last minute are clearly unaffected by your ads, so you're wasting your time trying to entice them to buy early. I don't believe that even the advertisers think... 'boy, we'd better remind people that Christmas is coming, because otherwise they might forget to decorate, or buy presents'.
My appreciation for Thanksgiving came from my grandmother, who immigrated to this country in the 1940's. When she arrived in this country, she was touched by the idea of having a holiday whose very name told you to give thanks, and whose celebration involved spending the day with family and enjoying wonderful foods, and each other's company. These are difficult times, and not everyone feels capable of giving thanks, and not everyone has family with whom to spend this holiday. But this holiday is very real, and very important, and should not be slighted.