Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 7, 2013

Gary's World: Please avoid the Christmas rush

By Gary Nelson
Senior staffwriter

CROSSVILLE — I saw something the other night, before Halloween, that just enraged me. I was driving along merrily, going about my way, when I saw an atrocious scene — a home decorated for Christmas complete with lights and all the bells and whistles that go along with a fully decorated Christmas home.

What?

I couldn't believe it. I nearly lost control of my vehicle. What in the world were these people thinking?

I felt like stopping and going up to the home and reminding the people that it was Halloween, Thanksgiving, then Christmas and any proper light display should only be erected and lit AFTER Thanksgiving — anything prior is pure sacrilege.

I figured it would be best if I didn't approach the home or the homeowner at that point, though, given my agitated state of mind.

I gathered my composure and slowly made my way home to sit down and relax and watch a little TV.

It worked for a little while and then, bam, I was assaulted with an in your face commercial for guess what, you're right, Christmas shopping at a retailer who plans to open for "Black Friday" savings and deals on Thanksgiving Day!

That was it! The final straw! I fired up my old computer, waited for nearly 10 minutes for it to warm up and get my Windows XP running and dashed off an ugly email to the company's corporate headquarters.

The words I wrote flowed like venom from a Rattlesnake in the summer sun, coiled and about to strike.

"I certainly will not be attending your diabolical plan of overshadowing Thanksgiving and destroying the American tradition of having a nice family day ruined and interrupted by having to worry about getting to the store for a bargain," I wrote.

"I dare say I shall never set foot in your store again, after this disgrace," I concluded and slammed my fist down on the send button.

I'm sure whoever reads that email will get a chuckle out of it and call his or her coworkers over to read it and laugh about it even more.

I'm sure it will likely be printed out and posted on the cork board above the water cooler for all employees to get a chuckle.

The fact is, they won't care. They don't care.

It's a sad fact that in this current state of affairs and economy in this country, retailers are struggling and scrambling to find ways to lure consumers into their stores. Opening for big sales on Thanksgiving Day is just the latest gimmick.

Who knows what will be next.

It does bother me, though, that the traditional Thanksgiving of yesteryear is gradually fading away and being overshadowed by Christmas consumerism.

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, Jesus and the giving season. I just would like to be able to spend Thanksgiving having a traditional meal with the whole family and being able to relax and give thanks for all the blessings we have that we normally take for granted every other day of the year.

A warm home filled with family and friends is the perfect way to spend that day. And if you can't all be together, you can at least telephone or Skype with loved ones to send thoughts of love, appreciation and thankfulness.

There's a symbolic reason that Santa Claus was always at the END of the "big televised annual" Thanksgiving Day parade — that's to usher in the Christmas season AFTER Thanksgiving.

So, what are they going to do this year? Put Santa Claus in the middle of the parade?

I know that each year there are more and more Christmas and holiday commercials and gimmicks being broadcast and in our faces before Thanksgiving. Each year it seems that it's earlier and earlier, but before Halloween?

That's just ridiculous.

I intentionally will not mention names of the retail establishments that are opening for Thanksgiving sales and give them anymore advertisement and publicity.

As for me and my family, we will be spending Thanksgiving Day together, with Thanksgiving, and not abandoning it for Christmas.

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Gary Nelson is a Crossville Chronicle staffwriter. His column is published each Friday. He may be reached at gnelson@crossville-chronicle.com.