More to the point, I like a good sale same as the next guy. I have been known to cut coupons and pre-order, though I draw the line at waiting in one. My daughter tried to convince me once to get Miley Cyrus tickets — it required doing jumping jacks on a night with a full moon while holding a porcupine with my left hand. I said no.
Despite my lack of Commie sensibilities — my firm, true and honest lack of Communist sensibilities (ahem, un-American activities folks) — I am disgusted by the total and complete abandon with which our society has embraced the holiday shopping season.
I’m not one to say “Put the ‘Christ’ back in Christmas.” Heck, I’m a Jew and am, as such, not really concerned with Christmas. Not my beeswax.
But I understand the sentiment. I would prefer to say, “Put the ‘thanks’ back in Thanksgiving.” Every year it seems that the holiday means little more than the day before the holiday shopping season (which I will henceforth refer to as the HSS). I know that, in truth, the actual date of Thanksgiving was set to give shoppers more time to shop (look it up if you don’t believe me) but, really, enough’s enough.
This year, my wife dragged my family to a museum celebrating the life of Native Americans, she said, to start a conversation on what the holiday was all about.
I told her that the holiday was all about getting tipsy and telling off your brother-in-law. She didn’t like that very much, though it was accurate, at least in my case.
I told her that the holiday was all about eating until you get sick. She didn’t like that very much, though it was accurate, at least in my case.
She proceeded to tell our kids the old Thanksgiving line — that the generous Native Americans taught all the city-bred Pilgrims how to survive in Lorne Green’s Wild America and now we eat turkey and have a feast to say “thanks” for all that assistance.
I decided to scuttle her boat.
“Wait,” I said. “We have a feast while many descendants of those same Native Americans, at least the ones that didn’t get massacred or die off from diseases brought over by the Pilgrims, live below the poverty line?”
“Wait,” I said. “We offer our thanks by standing in line for hours to get a good deal on a big-screen TV?”
That being said, (and what’s not being said is my wife’s response, which I would describe as an overreaction, but she would describe as perfectly reasonable in the face of such unabashed obnoxious behaviour) I would like to propose that we substitute Thanksgiving for a different holiday.
From now on, let’s just be honest. Let’s combine the HSS into one gigantic super-holiday and call it “Worship the Dollar Month.” That way, there’s no pretense — just a reason to buy stuff for ourselves (and others). No saying, “Thanks for the corn, guys, now go live on the res.” No saying, “Christ died for your ability to buy high-priced electronics.”
No suggestion that the miracle was in fact, that the sale lasted for eight whole days, when it was scheduled to only last for one.
Just a single, month-long orgy of consumption.
And, no, I am not a Communist.
Reach Jordan Fenster by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/JordanFenster.