Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas declares war on Thanksgiving

Some right wingers claim that there is a war on Christmas. Can't have Christmas trees in public schools, must call them "holiday trees," for instance.

Well, I like what one of our local county council people said instead. He said in a Facebook post:

"It looks like Christmas is declaring war on Thanksgiving."

This reference to the creeping forward of "Black Friday" as some stores, such as Walmart, planned to start their Christmas shopping season on Thanksgiving.

People question whether any time can be sacred from consumerism and the profit motive anymore.

Yes, Christmas is a very commercial time of the year. It's not that commercial for me as I don't have kids and family ties to shop for. Consumerism tends to go hand in hand with the "American family." I get along well with my brothers and sisters, but we don't do Christmas shopping for one another. We live all spread out across the country. I have no family that is geographically close to me except for friends and community potlucks.

The holidays can be a lonely time for folks away from family, but thankfully there are things like community meals and, while we're on the subject, more and more businesses stay open on the holidays.

There are two kinds of business opening strategies for the holidays. One is the creeping forward of Black Friday which isn't that good. Taking employees away from their Thanksgiving for holiday shopping specials seems kind of repugnant (or maybe Republican?). Another kind of business opening makes more sense to me. Some restaurants open on Thanksgiving realizing that not everyone has a family meal to go to.

Bellingham's Old Town Cafe has a long tradition of free community meal on Thanksgiving Day. Staffed by volunteers and serenaded with live musicians. It's become a great tradition. The Old Town Cafe can be a bit crowded, but some other places offer a meal as well. A meal that one pays for. It's nice to have some choices for the holidays.

Speaking of family, one of my brothers criticizes the Black Friday store openings that invaded Thanksgiving this year, but he also noted that it's nice to at least have some grocer open when one realizes, at the last minute, that they forgot the cranberry sauce.

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