What happened to Thanksgiving?

Anybody notice how many stores are doing their Christmas push early this year?

It’s bad enough to walk in the malls and department stores and find them filled with glittery trees and Santas, but even the grocery stores are getting into the act — and you’d think they at least would be concentrating on sales for the Thanksgiving feast!

No, as soon as Halloween was over, everybody started gearing up for Christmas. Charitable organizations are flooding mailboxes with address labels, calendars, cards, whatever in hopes of a donation. Sales fliers that come with the daily newspaper offer specials on everything from coats and mittens to jewelry, bedding, and luggage. Hardware and do-it-yourself stores are touting Christmas lights and decorations. Toy stores are — well, you get the idea!

It won’t be long before retailers start pushing gift cards, targeted toward those who “have to give something but haven’t a clue,” and the various groups set up their tables to do gift-wrapping (for free or a donation).

People, doesn’t this seem a bit soon to anybody but me? I mean, when did Thanksgiving — being grateful for what we have, sharing with family and loved ones, giving to the needy — become the “forgotten” holiday? Shoot, some of us look forward to eating too much, watching hours of football and parades, and drifting off for a guilty-pleasure afternoon nap!

This isn’t to say I’m opposed to Christmas — far from it! I love Christmas (always have!), but really, do we need two full months to get ready for it? I don’t think so. Besides, all this scurrying around and marketing is getting in the way of what Christmas is about, namely, the birth of Jesus Christ.

I know stores are struggling to find a positive in this depressed economy. I understand most folks want/need to get the best “deal” they can with the amount of money they have to spend.

But come on! Twenty-four hour-a-day Christmas carols, screeching sales ads from the TV and radio, and a blitz of “buy now, stock limited” promotions are making my head spin!