Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The War On Thanksgiving

The holidays are upon us once again, along with their many traditions. Turkey and football on Thanksgiving Day, shopping on Black Friday, Christmas trees, lights at Candy Cane Lane and eggnog to name just a few.

Another tradition are the right wingers that build their straw Santa of how there is a war on Christmas. It has already started with people complaining about a Best Buy ad that mentions Eid-al-Adha, but not Christmas. There will also be the obligatory rants about how this store or that has the audacity to be inclusive and say "Happy Holidays" instead of singling out Christmas and ignoring the other holidays like Channukah or Kwanzaa.

But for all their piousness, they seem to be missing the real war on Christianity, even though they use it examples of it in their straw arguments about Christmas. It baffles me on why these holy rollers will complain that some clerk wouldn't wish them Merry Christmas, probably after they have griped for twenty minutes at said clerk about a sales tax the clerk has nothing to do with, but they don't complain about the diminishment of Thanksgiving.

I remember when I was a teen and as a much younger adult, I would end up working each Thanksgiving. I didn't think much of it, since I was involved in jobs that required someone there every day. Just like cops and hospital workers, there are jobs that require around the clock staffing. But I would always find it a bit eerie to go to work and back home and see all the parking lots empty as most stores were closed so that their employees could celebrate this very Christian holiday with their families. My young mind and active imagination could always picture it as if it were some sort of post-apocalyptic world.

Nowadays, most stores are open for at least a few hours, and some, like K-mart, are open for more than twelve hours. I can understand some businesses being open, like gas stations, but why does every business need to stay open all day?

Even if you aren't Christian per se, there is undeniable value to being able to just enjoy a day with family and friends and being reflective on how fortunate you are. It is good for the mind and the soul to be able to do that, if nothing else. But with these stores being open all hours, it makes it harder and harder for families to spend time together.

This should be causing outrage among the conservatives, who purportedly hold both Christian and family values in such high regard. Instead, they choose to rehash the same nonsensical arguments year after year, while ignoring the crass commercialism and the profiteers putting financial gain before families. It's enough to make one wonder exactly which deity they are worshiping: The Almighty God, or the Almighty Dollar.


  1. Well, I'll be working at Wal-Mart on thanksgiving. But that is my choice.
    Further, with time and a half pay on holidays, it pays for people, especially those struggling to get by, to get a little extra in the paycheck.
    So, don't knock it. If you don't like it, too bad, but some people need the extra pay and they don't mind working on Holidays. Don't be so damn elitist.

  2. Nice rhetorical flourish there at the end, but this is no less a straw argument than the one you denounce.

    Conservatives who genuinely care about holding on to traditional attitudes toward Christmas, but not Thanksgiving are about as common as Santa Claus.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Were you snickering when you wrote this??

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  6. Not even spambots get the holiday off, I see.

  7. Dan,

    What vital service does Wally World provide that they need to be open today?

    Mr. Shown,

    Then were are the cries of outrage against the greed and commercialization?



  8. "What vital service does Wally World provide that they need to be open today"
    Cheaper food. A larger variety of food. Charcoal for those who want to cook out. Cooking oil for those who want to deep fry their turkey. Booze. Soda. Roasting pans. Seasoning salts. Snacks. A more peaceful time to shop in between the day before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Tums and other antacids for after the meal. Extra turkeys if their first turkey failed. For those who have no life, a place to sit for 12 hours while they await the sales of the newest electronics gadgets(as opposed to standing outside and risk being trampled). A place for non-U.S. citizens who don't celebrate Thanksgiving to shop. Our pharmacy was open. A place to buy condoms for those in the mood. A place for the homeless to hang out for a few hours while they stroll the aisles or sit at McDonalds.
    So, Wal Mart and other stores that stay open on Thanksgiving do provide a service.

  9. The material things could and should be bought at another time.

    You have a Mickey D's inside the store?