Whatever Happened to Thanksgiving?

Every year, it seems like the Christmas season gets pushed forward by a few days. I'd generally accepted the festivities' inauguration the instant the Thanksgiving turkey got cold. After all, that's the time for preparing for Black Friday's shopping insanity. It's been this way for about 5 or 6 years now.

But then 2002 rolls around, America suddenly isn't ready for things it's been devouring for decades, and a commercial comes on my television a staggeringly early two-and-a-half weeks before Thanksgiving. A commercial that completely blew my perception of reality as I knew it.

Now, I've filed commercials under this category before, citing the Burger King announcement of Taco sales as my main example, but this one did so in a completely different way: it's redefinition of reality bore some degree of actual significance.

Lowe's broadcasts a Christmas-themed commercial on the second Saturday in November, effectively expanding the Christmas season out to a full six weeks. The durational unit controlled by the sleeping habits of Punxsutawney Phil.

It was a smashingly lovely spot, replete with a new performance of a favorite carol and wreaths hung on the exterior columns of a neighborhood Lowe's. But it just came too early for comfort.

I forgot about the spot and continued to live life as if nothing had really changed. Then, as the week progressed, I found my eyes falling on objects installed in peoples' homes that resembled conical evergreens dressed in strings of electric lights. I knew these couldn't be Christmas trees. It was too early for Christmas trees to be up. I haven't eaten my turkey yet.

But I can't be bothered about this situation. Christmas is a happy time that everyone wants to prolong as much as possible. The folks I empathise with are the Hebrew.

The Jews used to put up with four solid weeks of Christmas-themed marketing. They took it with a smile, knowing that the Messiah will come and make things right once more. But now they have to stomach these meaningless-to-Jews carols and celebratory hijinks for an extra two weeks. Not even an 8-day-long holiday of lame proportions can compete with 42 days of nonstop marketing. Even the Muslim Ramadan can't fight this madness.

Someone has to put a stop to this before we're all celebrating Christmas in July, not because Christmas is so far away, but because we're still celebrating it from last year.

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