Have you been to the stores lately? Just before Halloween, I picked up a few things at the local big-box-a little-of-everything store. I noticed three aisles in a row – one with Halloween whatnots, the second with all things Thanksgiving, and the third with Christmas trees, lights, and garland. Sure, setting up aisles for Thanksgiving before Halloween makes sense, sort of, but a Christmas aisle in October? The big-box store cannot be accused of procrastination.
I know people who start their Christmas shopping for the next year the day after Christmas. Overachievers! It used to be that Black Friday was the unofficial official kick-off to the Christmas season. Now there are pre-Black Friday sales and pre-pre-Black Friday sales, and warnings that shipping containers are unable to dock and unload the most sought-after gifts for 2021. Not normally given to anxiety, I am feeling a little anxious this year.
What will I find when I shop for Thanksgiving dinner items, reportedly more expensive and scarce? Aisles dedicated to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day? Why don’t the stores just set up aisles for every holiday of the year? That way the overachievers can stock up for the whole year, and those of us prone to a bit of procrastination don’t have excuses for waiting till the last minute. Seems like a win-win to me.
Is the meaning of the holidays getting lost in the hysteria? Will gratitude and gathering with loved ones be edged out by anxiety surrounding prices and scarcity? Is Thanksgiving really about serving the perfect dinner and preparing for the Black Friday rush, or is it about reflecting on the blessings of the past year?
As we enter Thanksgiving week, take a moment and reflect on how far we have come. And then, after Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is on the horizon, take a deep breath, it’s going to be okay. If the cargo containers don’t dock or the latest, greatest electronic is not available, remember the immortal words of the Grinch. “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!