The Truth About the Holidays

A friend of mine explained that her daughter hadn’t quite figured out where she wanted to be because, “Oh, you know -she’s only twenty-two. You remember what you were doing at twenty-two.”

I paused, then answered, “Well… I was giving birth to my first child.”

I’ve tended to hit life stages a bit early: walking, reading, planning world domination, marrying, birthing, buying a house, and experiencing advanced dental problems.

What does this have to do with the holidays? I’m not really that old, and yet I turn into Ebeneezer Scrooge earlier and earlier each Christmas season.


Instead of feeling happy and festive when I saw a Christmas tree, I felt violated. Spinning inflatable yard ornaments and automated decorations that sang caused me to fear for the future of humanity. Aisles of bright tinsel or Chinese-made ornaments made me sick.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have felt that way if I wasn’t seeing it all in July.

Now that I have, however, I reached and passed my level of tolerance and goodwill to men by October (when workers were hurriedly clearing out all that noxious Halloween stuff on Halloween to hang the Christmas things front and center).

Why do retailers do it?

To be said in my best old, jaded lady voice: It’s all about the money.

Stores make the most money at Christmas. Even if a person doesn’t strictly celebrate the holiday, he will purchase a gift for the people at his job who do. Each of them will purchase something for everyone else. It’s like a tinseled chain letter with actual results.

And, not content with picking a man’s pocket every December the 25th, the retailers have special sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Not only that, but they have scooted Black Friday up so far that it’s at the same time most families are celebrating the best holiday there is.

Thanksgiving in America is pure and simple, and stores have not been able to commercialize it beyond table centerpieces and all the groceries one needs for feasting.

For companies that don’t primarily sell food, Thanksgiving’s a wash. They can’t wait to get it out of the way so that mass commercialism can stampede through sealed cardboard shelving in order to get whatever the hot electronics item is that year.

Every year I’ve hoped that The People will stop. I’ve held out for sanity. I’ve assumed that humans will finally show stores that holding a Christmas sale on Thanksgiving is too much. And yet, greed keeps winning. People move the time of their feast in order to head out and spend money as soon as possible.

I guess they really don’t care, since they keep putting their money where the sales are.


Others might think it’s none of my business what people do on Thanksgiving. It’s their day; let them spend it (literally) how they want. Well, what about the workers at the stores everyone’s frequenting? Did they want to spend Thanksgiving keeping shoppers from punching a cashier?

What about standards? What about bonding with family? What about holding some things as special, or even sacred; removed from the clutching grasp of negative vices and habits?

Back to my old lady voice: People used to care. Families would dress in their Sunday best to go downtown. Neighbors would call on neighbors. No one was open past 9 p.m. and only the doctor was working on Sundays.

I’m not endorsing petticoats and carriages, or even a stop to Christmas sales. I just want a whole, untouched, unmolested Thanksgiving day. I want to enjoy my knitting by the fire while the young’uns play with their stick ball or their jacks. I want to enjoy seeing my children, and their children, and their children.

Thanksgiving needs to be removed from the seeping stain of over-buying commercialism, but that’s not going to happen unless we make it so. I don’t know who we can petition or what official measures we can take, but I do know it’s possible. At the very least, don’t shop on the day. Stay home with your family or friends. Eat. Play games. Bond.

Cyber Monday has better deals, anyway.


Re-cap for this week:
Wednesday, November 14: The Importance of Trying Times, a surgery announcement and PSA regarding activity after abdominal incisions; plus a weekly review.
Thursday, November 15: Skinwalkers, XLII.
Friday, November 16: Winner of The First Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest announced. Congratulations, Bladud Fleas.
Saturday, November 17: How-To Write Terrible Poetry and beginning of The Second Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest (please enter).
My article, What’s the Make, Model, and Year of Your Mental Health Struggle? was published at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.
Sunday, November 18: Patchwork, a flash fiction for Carrot Ranch inspired by a friend of mine.
Monday, November 19: Convalesced, and released Distracted Momming over at my motherhood site.
Tuesday, November 20: Inspirational Quote by Masercot. He’s a funny guy, but I felt this quote held a deep message.
Wednesday, November 21: This post. 🙂

I do not intend to publish any additions to Wilhelmina Winters or Skinwalkers this week. I’m just too busy with Thanksgiving preparations.

Enjoy your time with family. Please.

19 thoughts on “The Truth About the Holidays

  1. TanGental November 21, 2018 / 9:49 am

    Have a fine family feast. I’m utterly in agreement at the grasping rapaciousness of Christmas. And that’s just my children.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2018 / 10:33 am

      Thank you, Geoff. I’m glad you agree, and happy Thanksgiving from America to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lensdailydiary November 21, 2018 / 9:50 am

    I agree whole heartedly. The consumer society seems to be most people’s reason for being. Can’t go on forever, something has to change. Create rather than consume. Timely post Chelsea.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. masercot November 21, 2018 / 10:39 am

    The worst thing is that people used to get Thanksgiving off. Now, it is only a holiday for some but not for others. It takes a lot away from it when a sizable percentage are working on that day.

    But, Happy Thanksgiving, Chelsea!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. D. Avery @shiftnshake November 21, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    Agreed on the Greed.
    Of course I used to capitalize on Christmas- sold fir trees. Had to get them trucked in before Thanksgiving. But I refused to retail until Thanksgiving day was past as a matter of principle and sequence. It cost me some business but most people put up with my ways.

    Liked by 1 person

      • D. Avery @shiftnshake November 21, 2018 / 4:38 pm

        Retailing a Christmas product kinda ruined Christmas for me too, but also made it great. I got to bring beautiful trees to hundreds of people and was a part of their family’s tradition for over twenty years. Now that I’m not setting up the tree stand I am able to enjoy Thanksgiving again too. We keep it simple- food and friends and family.
        Enjoy yours!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2018 / 4:54 pm

          Thank you.

          I appreciate those who have to work holidays, and think Christmas tree selling sounds difficult and sweet. 🎄

          Best wishes to you as well!


  5. mymindlessdrivel November 21, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Right there with you. At least some stores are holding the line and still claiming that day as a holiday, for owners and employees. Seriously? The shopping CAN wait until Friday.

    Have a good day and ignore the commercialism…if you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2018 / 4:26 pm

      Thank you! I intend to pretend we are all civilized in our family. 😉


  6. Peregrine Arc February 19, 2019 / 8:18 pm

    I wrote about this last year, too. I was pretty fed up. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Gluttony and greed.

    Liked by 1 person

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