Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving vs. Christmas

I love Thanksgiving.  It's my favorite holiday.  I think that, in spirit (if you ignore the whole slaughtering of Native Americans thing), Thanksgiving is the purest holiday.  It's all about family, friends, good food, and taking stock of what's important in your life.  It's a holiday that genuinely makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

So I have to confess that I get angry every year that Thanksgiving is more and more overlooked.  As soon as the Halloween decorations come down, the Christmas decorations go up.  The commercials start on TV; the Christmas music gets played in the stores.  The pressure to BUY ramps up about 200%.  

Frankly, I find it sickening.  I realize that Thanksgiving isn't a "consuming" holiday in the sense that it's not really a holiday one buys a lot of stuff for.  I know that this is why American businesses try to rush us straight from Halloween into Christmas every year.  This is what makes it particularly disgusting to me.

Let's ignore the holiday that encourages us to reflect on what makes our lives special in order to BUY things?  What kind of message is that?

I was hoping that I might get away from some of this in Hawaii.  It certainly seems to be outside of a lot of the bad influences of the mainland in a lot of ways.  People are kinder and more trusting here.  They have a a different view on life and what's important.  So I thought maybe this would be different too.  I have, however, been sadly disappointed.  I guess, no matter where you live, you still deal with the same companies, the same chains; they make a cookie cutter life for everyone.

But they can't force me to spend nearly two months celebrating Christmas. They can't suck meaning from me.  I'm going to live life on my own terms.

No comments: