It all begins in August, the month that generously bestows hundred-degree temperatures and humidity upon the country’s population. Apparently, to some stores like Hallmark, this warm month of August is the perfect prelude to the season of warm hot chocolate and cheerful frolicking in the snow. Yes, the month that scorches us with those pleasantly high temperatures seems like an appropriate time for Hallmark to send out a magazine with snowmen in sweaters and penguins dancing on ice. This poor choice of timing was brought to my attention when my mother, an avid collector of Christmas ornaments, started receiving her annual Hallmark Ornament Magazine every August. Then again, the “most important” season is quickly approaching so I am sure they are just helping everyone figure out what they want to clothe their pine tree with.
It is not just Hallmark that holds this enthusiastic desire to begin the Christmas season four months early, but this slow haunt of Christmas cheer is emerging from other places as well. It should be noted that Starbucks has already begun distributing Christmas-decorated cups and offering their “seasonal” beverages with season’s greetings to customers worldwide. Target, a popular multi-commodity store, has already been advertising the Christmas season in its advertisements. For you nifty crafty people, Michael’s has stocked and decorated its store with winter wonderland attire. The radio station KOST is also a culprit in this Christmas business with their slow Christmas song infestation that begins at least two weeks before the closing weeks of November. What’s so important about the end of November? It’s that holiday with the turkey and gravy that no one really cares about. Oh yes, that’s right, Thanksgiving.
Whatever happened to that holiday, Thanksgiving? Why can’t the enthusiasm we have for Christmas be shared with Thanksgiving? Why don’t we have people dressed up as turkeys everywhere during November instead of a strong push to shove spoonfuls of carol music and fake pine trees down our throats so soon? Truthfully, I would enjoy some songs about the delicious taste of turkey while I’m grocery shopping for Thanksgiving. Don’t think I’m ridiculous; you’re the one that listens to songs about live snowmen and talking reindeer. What baffles me is the fact that we cannot have these lovely songs about turkeys because the only companies that would promote this type of advertising are food companies, and well, that isn’t enough. Honestly, there is only so much you can do for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a modest holiday that promotes the notion of being thankful for family and for the food that has been provided on the table. But with the hype of Halloween being the first end-of-the-year holiday and Christmas apparently noted as being the most important holiday, Thanksgiving has become more of a pitstop between Halloween and Christmas. I assume it is because there isn’t much of a business for thankfulness. Halloween is the kickoff for the holiday season so the costume businesses, clothing companies, and party stores are flooded with excited customers who have long awaited the season. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, has been associated with turkeys, ham, au gratin potatoes, cranberry bread and well, any food your grandma loves to make. Understanding that food rules this day means the only company that would actually profit from this is, well, a food company.
Food companies can try to persuade their customers to buy even more food for their family, but honestly, the reason Thanksgiving probably isn’t making any money is for thankfulness. With people already consuming food anyway, there’s really no point in promoting it. In theory, if you don’t have enough food shouldn’t you be thankful for what you have anyway? Maybe food companies can convince people that the only way you can have a good Thanksgiving is with three deep-fried turkeys and the entire family dressed up in Pilgrim and Native American attire. I’m sure if people are fooled enough companies can make a decent amount of money. It hasn’t happened yet, and it probably won’t, but it’s possible.
Christmas. The time of giving and receiving. The word that screams “money” is the word giving. You absolutely cannot have Christmas without gifts, or at least that’s what companies have advertised. And if we want to get biblical, it technically is Jesus’ birthday, right? So shouldn’t we reenact it by purchasing gifts for everyone else? Don’t forget Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and every other holiday that has a gift-giving season. These are the holidays that are wrapped up in the Christmas Spirit or the more aptly named, “Buying Spirit.” New toys, new clothes, new products suddenly and “coincidentally” slide their ways into advertisements during this season. Disregard all that old merchandise; isn’t it only right that you give your family the best? This is where the trap begins and this is exactly what stores want you to think. The holiday Christmas isn’t so hyped up because we receive gifts on this day, but manufacturers make us believe that we have to give gifts on this day. Manufacturers could care less about the true meaning of Christmas because to them it’s just a great money making season.
Well, Christmas is associated with the heartwarming exchange of gifts. This exchange opens the doors to all manufacturers across the world, allowing industries from clothing to hardware to convince you that their merchandise will create the Christmas spirit in the hearts of their consumers. So what better time to start this shopping than right now? The Christmas Season is promoted as much as it is because of the potential profits that companies can get their hands onto. Thanksgiving just hasn’t revealed that potential to manufacturers so the promotion of Thanksgiving has been thrown under the rug. Thanksgiving might have a season that starts in August one day, but until they find a way to make more money out it, enjoy the Christmas Cheer and the old men dressed in red suits during November.