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Loving Both Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas are seemingly at odds with each other these days. The politically correct thing seems to be “honoring Thanksgiving” by not doing Christmas too early. We must avoid the nefarious thing called “Christmas Creep“.

Target made a splash in the news by announcing they were not going to “give in to Christmas Creep” by eschewing Thanksgiving. (Although they still have aisle after aisle of Christmas stuff you can buy while you notice their Thanksgiving signs and listen to their moralizing politics).

Other retailers are getting in the act, too. Plenty have made it widely known that this year – contrary to the trends of the past several years – they will not be open on Thanksgiving Day. For this they want recognition and praise. However, not a single one of them will turn off their websites on Thanksgiving. Nothing, it appears, is that sacred.

All this is bleeding down to social media and even among teens.

My two teenage daughters today mentioned “there is a thing going around at school about not doing Christmas yet” because Thanksgiving is coming up first.

On the one hand, this is refreshing.

We love everything about Thanksgiving. We love the idea of Thanksgiving. We have long felt Thanksgiving was the perfect gateway to Christmas.

But, on the other hand, isn’t this getting absurd?

Since when is Christmas an impediment to the celebration of Thanksgiving?

In fact, since when has Thanksgiving EVER been diminished by Christmas?

Thanksgiving is arguably the most celebrated holiday on the federal calendar in the United States. It is quite nearly universal.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau more than 97 percent of Americans observe Thanksgiving.

That’s bigger than Christmas, folks.

In fact, Thanksgiving has a lot of stunning statistics to back it up as America’s most celebrated holiday.

Come Thanksgiving we will consume nearly 50 million turkeys. Nearly as many people will hit the road just to be with family and, speaking of family, a whopping 95 percent of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with family.

Thanksgiving is doing just fine, thank you.

No — the big argument seems to be about money and advertising.

For some reason, Christmas is guilty of overshadowing everything just because it is for sale.

Well, whose fault is that?

Christmas has an advantage over every other holiday for one simple reason: it is a season.

And nothing else is.


Not Thanksgiving, not Halloween, not Valentine’s Day – nothing else is a season.

There isn’t a more widely anticipated time of the year than Christmastime.

In fact, Thanksgiving – and Halloween and New Year’s – could all just be considered more of a part of that one grand season known as Christmas.

Some call it The Holidays – and they should. After all, what other 63-day period of the year has so much to offer and to celebrate?

So why then do we have to divide?

Isn’t there some kind of commonality about Thanksgiving and Christmas? Isn’t there a way to love them both?

Can’t we just appreciate what they are individually – AND – together, at the same time?

Of course we can. In fact, most of us already do.

For many, when the frost is on the pumpkin plans are already on the way for the feast and festivities of Thanksgiving. Those plans almost always include huge elements of Christmas.

For many, putting up the family Christmas tree is actually a Thanksgiving weekend tradition (more than 60 percent of all households do this).

Tell me — which holiday are they really honoring – or dissing – by doing that?

Santa Claus usually brings up the rear of every Thanksgiving Day parade. How could you top that? And why would you if you could?

There are other mysteries surrounding the celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For example, at Christmas there are very public battles held in America between the faithful and the godless. Times Square in New York is usually the showcase spot for atheist themed ads mocking Christians and belief in God.

America also famously argues the so-called War on Christmas by debating Christmas displays in public, the singing of Christmas songs in schools and the separation of Church and State which causes some government officials to call a Christmas tree a “holiday tree”.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, gets off completely from such debates. Yet it could be the most religious of all holidays.

No other day of the year has been called a “national day of prayer” as proclaimed many times by U.S. presidents dating back to the days of George Washington.

Thanksgiving Day is the ONE day of the year when the government, through Presidential Proclamation, acknowledges the hand of God.

Where are all the activists then?

But nary an atheist seems to mind. While they attack Christmas with relish it seems the religion of Thanksgiving doesn’t get their notice.

It’s like their mouths are full of turkey or something.

Thanksgiving is a starting point for Christmas, no doubt.

For many, this is marked by the start of Christmas shopping, Black Friday, extended hours, Cyber Monday and “free shipping”.

But it is also a starting point in other ways.

Most wait until after Thanksgiving to turn on their Christmas lights. Some refuse to hang their stockings until Thanksgiving is over. Others hold off on sending their Christmas cards until Thanksgiving has passed.

But is this all incompatibility?

Does the playing of Christmas music or the watching of Christmas movies before Thanksgiving really constitute an offense towards the day?


To some, that is just how they celebrate Thanksgiving.

It seems they just want that glow of Christmas lights on Thanksgiving.

We say don’t stop.

In fact, we encourage you – strap a Santa hat on that turkey.

The more the merrier.

To the many naysayers out there who complain about “Christmas Creep” – just stop.

Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Anyone who really understands Christmas knows it is no hallmark of the season when “stuff” of the season goes on sale.

Nobody is hurt by it. In fact, 98 percent of all people really do NOT care.

The best answer for those who don’t like it is stop buying it.

But if it continues to sell then guess what, Christmas naysayer?

You’re wrong.

Father of 7, Grandfather of 7, husband of 1. Freelance writer, Major League baseball geek, aspiring Family Historian.
  • J
    Jennifer Lundgren
  • November 3, 2017
Now that I live outside the US, I am glad stores have Christmas stuff early as we make our annual visit for Thanskgiving and are able to pick up some Christmas items to bring back with us.

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