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Christmas: The War On Thanksgiving

Editor’s Note: This article is satirical.

As soon as Halloween turns its back, Christmas strikes. Retailers replace the skeletons with wreaths and the orange and black banners with red and green ones. On the radio, “Jingle Bell Rock” and “White Christmas” play, while families roast marshmallows and drink skinny eggnog lattes. Somewhere, somehow, in this turning of the commercialized seasons, Thanksgiving is forgotten.

Story by Selah Maya Zighelboim

Evidence of this so-called “War on Thanksgiving” permeates every corner of Corporate America. Around this time of year, the week before Thanksgiving, one only has to open his or her eyes to see its ruins. Even on campus, Christmas has already begun to descend, leaving Christmas trees in buildings such as the Texas Union and Student Activity Center to mark its conquests.

By far, the loudest promoters of this war are those who stand to benefit from it financially. As early as Oct. 31 this year, Starbucks replaced its seasonal beverages with Christmas-themed ones. Every day since then, dozens of students are spotted strolling through campus and clutching the iconic red cups.

Maybe Thanksgiving never stood a chance. For years now, Black Friday sales, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving that marks the start of the Christmas season, have begun early. This year, stores such as Walmart, Amazon and Office Depot started sales for the holiday season the first week of November. In order to compete, some stores require retail workers, the true victims in this war, to cut Thanksgiving short. Most of these stores won’t open until 5 or 6 p.m., but on Nov. 3, K-Mart announced that it will open Thanksgiving Day at 6 a.m. and remain open for the next 42 hours.

For a while now, Halloween has been in the habit of looking over its shoulder, but now holidays as early as Labor Day may have to be on the defensive. On Sept. 12, less than two weeks after Labor Day, K-Mart launched a sneak attack in the form of a commercial cleverly titled “K-Mart Not a Christmas Commercial.” In the commercial, an actress advises the watcher to start buying gifts now, while assuring the audience that this is not in preparation for Christmas, but rather, “an event in late December that you need a lot of gifts for.”

There is one possible way to stop the early onslaught of Christmas commercialization. By refusing to start holiday shopping until Thanksgiving is over, we can send a message to retail stores that we want to spend that quiet time in November the traditional way — with our families, gorging ourselves on a meal that would horrify us any other time of the year and shouting at a television screen. This may seem like a futile effort; we are only people, after all. How can we possibly prevail against the allure of discount goods? But remember, according to the Supreme Court, corporations are only people, too, so we might just have a chance.

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