homepage logo

Is Thanksgiving being gobbled up by the annual Hastening of the Holidays?

By Mark Saal - | Nov 15, 2016

Forget ”Miracle on 34th Street.” We’re talking about a Miracle at 103.1 FM.

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the tendency to rush the Christmas season each year. Indeed, every November I subject readers to my annual Hastening the Holidays Harangue, wherein I chide eager beavers for failing to wait until after Thanksgiving to begin decking their halls.

This yearly venting has gotten me in trouble a time or two with those secret societies out there that celebrate Dec. 25 all year long — shadowy groups possibly financed by those year-round Christmas stores one finds in many pretentious American resort towns. These people have sent me Christmas cards in July. 

Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with keeping Christmas in your heart all year long. But that’s exactly the point. Keep it there, in your heart. And don’t let it out until the last week of November, at the earliest.

Among the worst offenders in the past have been a few local radio stations — most notably 103.1, 105.1 and 100.3 — which in past years have started playing holiday music as early as Halloween night. I consider it a moral victory if we can at least get them to wait until after Election Day.

However, this year it’s a certifiable Christmas miracle — at least as far as premature holiday tunes are concerned. As of this writing, a little less than a week after the election and a little over a week until Thanksgiving, I’ve yet to hear a single “Silent Night” or “Frosty the Snowman” over the airwaves. Which is the first year that’s happened in recent memory.

What gives? Who cares? Because I’m not about to look that gift horse in the mouth.

It’s just a shame we can’t say the same for the holiday decorations. And I’m not talking about retail stores here. They get a pass, albeit begrudgingly, because the holiday season makes or breaks many businesses. You can’t blame them for wanting to extend the commercialization as long as possible.

But where are decorations inexcusable? Government buildings. And neighbors’ houses.

I first noticed it on election night. I’d gone to check on the polling location at the Farmington Community Arts Center, and there on the side of Farmington City Hall, for all to see, was an enormous, lighted holiday wreath. I took a photo and put it on Twitter, and even got a retweet from something called @ProThanksgiving, which operates under the battle cry “Save Thanksgiving.”

Seriously. You really wanna make America great again? Make her cities stop putting their Christmas decorations on display right after Halloween.

Many Northern Utah residents aren’t helping the matter, either. Christmas decorations are going up earlier and earlier; a neighbor has had their Christmas tree in the front window for a few weeks now. Plus, the same night I saw Farmington City’s wreath, I noticed several neighbors’ homes already illuminated with outdoor Christmas lights.

All this conservative hand-wringing over a supposed War on Christmas, when the real battle for survival involves Thanksgiving.

Not that it necessarily deserves to survive.

Maybe it would be for the better if Turkey Day were finally gobbled up by the Christmas juggernaut. Turns out that whole Pilgrims and Native Americans story is simply fraught with too much political baggage.

Google “Is Thanksgiving a racist holiday?” and it returns more than 650,000 hits. And they’re under cheerfully festive headings like, “American Thanksgiving: A Pure Glorification of Racist Barbarity” and “Thanksgiving: A Racist Holiday for Bad People.”

We already knew Columbus Day was totally racist. But now Thanksgiving too? It always seemed like such a harmless day of giving thanks. I mean, it’s not like the National Football League has a T-Day tradition of pitting a team, like, say, the Dallas Cowboys against the Washin — oh yeah, never mind.

So, personally? As a sensitive American, I guess Thanksgiving is supposed to be dead to me. Which means I can turn on my Christmas lights any time now.

Hey, it’s not rushing the season, it’s taking a stand against racism.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272 or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SEMarkSaal.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)