So, with Thanksgiving behind us, and with the all-consuming holiday monster known as Christmas in full swing, I think it is time to reflect upon the two holidays and realize that yes, Thanksgiving is better than Christmas. Molly goes over several of the reasons, and she's dead on correct with every one of them. The all-consuming commercialism of Christmas has overwhelmed a holiday that is supposed to be a happy cheerful time, and transformed it into what is for many people an exceptionally stressful couple of weeks. It has even started encroaching on Thanksgiving's turf so retailers can try to sell you more goodies even earlier. Christmas comes parceled with so many obligations - getting a tree, putting up Christmas decorations, buying gifts for people, making food for office parties, sending cards, and so on - that it is more work than fun.
Thanksgiving also comes with a fair amount of work, mostly involving cooking a really substantial meal in which dishes are prepared that are rarely served throughout the year such as cranberries, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole. But it is mostly confined to a day or two of activity, and then you can eat the meal and have leftovers for days afterwards. Thanksgiving is actually an enjoyable holiday. Christmas, for the most part, is not. And that is why Thanksgiving is a much better holiday than Christmas.
The stores that open on Thanksgiving are setting a simply terrible example. As a matter of principle I will never shop on Thanksgiving. All the marketing trying to get me to buy stuff on Black Friday is basically a waste of time too. This year Black Friday sales were down. I think this was, in part, due to the Ferguson-related protests designed to shut down Black Friday, but I also think it is because more and more people are becoming disgusted with the overzealousness of retailers regarding the "event". At one point Black Friday was kind of cute - when stores opened at six a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving and had some sales. But now, with retailers asking people to leave dinner with their families and either work all night or wade through crowds of people to get the "door buster" sale items, I believe there is a backlash and people are intentionally staying home. At least I hope there is, and I hope they are.
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