ForeverJoy Designs

Occupy Thanksgiving!

It’s October 24th.  Halloween is about a week away. I just got back from a trip to Target- and I have to let loose here a little.  Hold on- let me drag over this soapbox…
Ok- I know it’s still a bit away, but for some reason, I got into the Thanksgiving spirit a little early this year. I wanted to get a few things for the house to bring in the spirit of this holiday…so I set off to do some hunting and gathering.  Usually, this results in a few bags worth of crafty goodness. But this time? nuthin’. I have the terrible felling the holiday is being silently nudged out by the media.

 It’s all a Back to school/Halloween/Thanksgiving Fall melange. Emphasis on Halloween since that is tied with Christmas in consumer spending on decorations and festivities.
So now we have a nice vanilla: “Welcome Fall!” Heck- it’s pretty obvious when media calls Christmas “the Holidays” to gain market shares, erase religious significance and focus on consumerism- but that’s another post.  But why the covert attack on Thanksgiving? “Lets just ignore it, maybe it will go away?”  In the shoppes and craft stores, I see endless items of spooky delight for Halloween- and right next to them, jolly jingling Christmas and Holiday items… but not a turkey or pilgrim to be seen.
Oh sure, there are a few “Happy Harvest” tokens around-  but isn’t that a melting of the spirit of the Holiday?  It is a time to give thanks.  A day that this country has specifically set aside to pause and celebrate   Not with gifts.  But with a thankful heart. Maybe a Turkey if you’re feeling plucky. (get it? Turkey- plucky?) Heck- you don’t even have to thank the same Lord I believe in- just as long as you take a moment to realize how very fortunate you are- and in doing so, recognize those who are not.  Maybe even do something to ease their burden. To me, it seems like the very holiday we ought to be promoting, instead of diluting.
So, while a few still “Occupy NY” down on Wall Street- I will be in aisle 6 of my local craft store- holding that lone, chipped turkey above my head- the one marked down 40% that the store has refused to stock up on- urging all to occupy Thanksgiving-!  In the face of media’s silence- occupy it loud and proud! Occupy it with glue gun and leaves and acorns and hand drawn turkeys- and count your creativity as one of the things you are thankful for.

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Renne, I feel the same way. I am soooooo tired of the rush through the holidays instead of being able to savor each one. In the stores, they are all just one big blur, and I hate it. Thanksgiving is such a marvelous time to just pause in our hurried lives, breathe, and reflect on the things that matter. True, it's not a consumer-oriented holiday like Christmas (except for grocery stores), but we it is so important to being a grateful and gracious people. So I will join you! This is one "Occupy" movement I can get behind! Tracy Sharpe

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Renne, I feel the same way. I am soooooo tired of the rush through the holidays instead of being able to savor each one. In the stores, they are all just one big blur, and I hate it. Thanksgiving is such a marvelous time to just pause in our hurried lives, breathe, and reflect on the things that matter. True, it's not a consumer-oriented holiday like Christmas (except for grocery stores), but we it is so important to being a grateful and gracious people. So I will join you! This is one "Occupy" movement I can get behind! Tracy Sharpe

  • Reply
    rennemarie
    October 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    woohoo! The movement has begun! 😉

  • Reply
    rennemarie
    October 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    woohoo! The movement has begun! 😉

  • Reply
    Patsy Tabbert
    October 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I had that experience this week! I've been to a few places looking for Thanksgiving decorations. A single short aisle of, for the most part, generic Fall items at Hobby Lobby; almost nothing at Target; and a couple of turkey items at Pier 1. I'm all for the Occupy Thanksgiving movement!

  • Reply
    Patsy Tabbert
    October 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I had that experience this week! I've been to a few places looking for Thanksgiving decorations. A single short aisle of, for the most part, generic Fall items at Hobby Lobby; almost nothing at Target; and a couple of turkey items at Pier 1. I'm all for the Occupy Thanksgiving movement!

  • Reply
    Cerise
    October 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    That has ALWAYS bugged me. I hate being rushed through Fall/Thanksgiving and right into Christmas. There isn't meaning to holidays anymore. Just mass commercialism. Kinda sad. I agree…we need to take back Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Cerise
    October 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    That has ALWAYS bugged me. I hate being rushed through Fall/Thanksgiving and right into Christmas. There isn't meaning to holidays anymore. Just mass commercialism. Kinda sad. I agree…we need to take back Thanksgiving.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    October 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you for your post, Renne!! If there was room, I would join you on that soapbox! I'm not disappointed in the lack of turkeys – some have tried to call it "Turkey Day" the last few years. But I am disappointed in the lack of meaningful Thanksgiving decorations. In the last 5 years it seems that Thanksgiving has been lost. Halloween has grown beyond reasonable proportions and the next holiday then takes over. No, I'm not talking about Christmas. I'm talking about Black Friday and on it's heels, Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving Day has become more about football games and preparing the shopping lists for the huge shopping extravaganza that now begins ON Thanksgiving Day for many. I'm not sure how to join you in this Occupy Thanksgiving movement, but I am all for it!! Do you mind if I start by sharing your post with my friends via Facebook?

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I am sorry, but I am weary of people bashing and blaming the media every time something happens they don't like, and your post is a case in point of why.

    The media does not "gain market shares," nor is it concerned with consumerism. The store does, and is, and it alone chooses what items to put on its limited shelf space based on the item's potential profitability. It determines this profitability by analyzing many complicated factors, including customer demand, and Target, not the media, obviously determined the items you were looking for are not profitable as of October 24. Since I am sure you want Target, and all stores, to be successful, why would you expect it to stock unprofitable items because of your personal beliefs?

    I am not saying Thanksgiving is a lesser holiday than Halloween or Christmas. IMO, it is the more important holiday. But the hard truth is, it is not as profitable a holiday as the others, and if anyone is to blame for that, it is the customer. not the media.

    Additionally, your accusation that the media is "erasing religious significance," is absurd. First, stores like Target recognize it is profitable to acknowledge their entire customer base during the holidays, and not just the Christians. However, it is impossible to acknowledge every single religion in an ad they must contain few words, and it would be ridiculous to do so given words already exist in the neutral holiday language. Since the stores would not be as profitable if they only used Christian-oriented words, do you really expect them to lose sales because of your personal beliefs?

    Second, using language like “erasing religious significance,“ or “War on Christmas,“ as others have done, is actually an attempt to elevate Christian significance among an ever-increasing non-Christian population, and has nothing to do with religious significance in general. In point of fact, the use of neutral and inclusive language during the holidays, by either the media or the stores, has not prevented one single Christian from celebrating Christmas, or practicing his/her Christianity, in any manner whatsoever. It has, however, made non-Christians feel more included. Thus, this is not an attempt to erase religious significance, but rather an attempt to acknowledge religious diversity. There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact, it has the added benefit of a more inclusive society in general. So, IMO, when Christians use violent language like “war” to defeat this religious inclusiveness, they are themselves guilty of diluting the very message of Christmas they supposedly revere.

  • Reply
    rennemarie
    October 25, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Hmmm…it sounds like this is as thought proving to you as it is to me- just on the flip side. I think it poses an age old question- albeit in terms of consumerism. The chicken or the egg? Or, Is the cart driving the horse? First, we should acknowledge the stores are most absolutely concerned with consumerism. That is their foundation. That is what drives them and our economy. As a red blooded American who embraces capitalism and many of its ancillary effects such as competition and the belief in the American dream- (David can in fact beat Goliath, if his product is good enough and he works hard enough), well, I applaud that focus on consumerism. My rant is focused on what I believe is a loss of focus on the consumer. Business and media telling US what holidays are important, and defining the way we celebrate them. No, this is not overt…. but honestly, look at the way Easter has grown into mini Christmas- or the HUGE emphasis on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I also don't think it can be ignored that there has been a dilution of religious significance in Christmas in the commercial sector, not because of their lack of belief in the faith- but fot the simple fact that it is in businesses best interest to reach as many faiths as possible during this time. "Lets call it HOLIDAYS and get 10xs the people in our store" Hmmm- now we are on the slippery slope- because the next step that can, and has been taken is, "Lets avoid the use of the word Christmas because that may be offensive". Wee, yep. Avoidance of that word is offensive. Inclusion does not mean exclusion. Inclusion means, this is a Menorah, this is a Christmas tree, these are the seven symbols of Kwanza, here is Noah's Pudding to celebrate Asura, and hey – lets also pause to consider Bodhi Day (Buddha's Enlightenment}. That's just the very surface of the argument, which will go on way beyond my little blog. And of course there are going to be two sides. I do not agree that my taking a stand, and urging others to do the same is an act of war- nor do I consider it to go counter to the Christian Faith. (Which you assume I follow) But, in this society, what is wonderful is that your taking a stand and my doing so as well is not anti Christian, but rather, very American. Lets have a discourse and at the very least, cause others to think. To consider. To be ware of the influences of media and business- because to believe they do not exist on a subliminal level is dangerous. And finally, I will stay on this soapbox shouting for all to elevate Thanksgiving in their hearts despite the representation on the store shelves because it is an issue very important to me. More people shop Veterans Day and Memorial Day sales than attend parades to cheer those who have served and sacrificed on. The crowds are sometimes one deep along the parade rout- but lines are 50 long in the stores. A dilution of focus. I see the same thing happening to Thanksgiving. Yes, I will be shopping Black Friday and clicking Cyber Monday. Mama loves her some good sales. And yes, I will be happy with all the trickle down effects of the surge in the economy business brings. But I firmly believe you can be aware of the meaning behind the holidays, be aware of the influence of media and be one hell of a shopper at the same time. It just requires focus awareness and discussion. And I sincerely thank you for being a part of that. It's not easy to disagree sometimes- but it's important. Disagreement fuels the engine of truth. 🙂

  • Reply
    Danesa
    October 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Renne, I, too, wish I could get on a jet-plane and rush with my feathered friend, the turkey and meet you on aisle 6. I'd bring the glue sticks to keep that glue gun of yours all filled up, as we masterfully build those turkeys and watch as all the human turkeys walk by the black-legged spiders, webs and witches (not referring to us, of course lol) and straight to the branching trees, bejewelled ornaments and towering Santas. Now, I am the first one to love Halloween and Christmas, but I revel in Thanksgiving. It is the time where memories are made in the kitchen, around the table, watching kids play in the great outdoors and catching up with family & friends, which are strewn all around the world, who, for one time a year, come together to share that moment of family and blessings. Unfortunately, my girls live out of state now and are unable to leave their jobs to come to mom's house. I always invite folks from my neighborhood, who would have to spend Thanksgiving alone. On the years that my girls are not here, having lonely neighbors over to eat and visit helps not only them but me also. So it is a very important holiday to me, to show my thankfulness to those around me and those who make a difference in my life.

    The media DOES dictate a lot of what happens in the world. We would be naive to discount their covert and overt influences. As to the topic of limiting references to religious holidays, the only intolerent voices(in my experience) are those who squeel so loudly "tolerence" but yet they discount the fact that this country was founded on Christian values and I have seen, even in my short time on earth, the erosion of those values, at the bequest of those who come with a different set of values and beliefs. We have welcomed "all" views and voices while at the same time those same voices have tried to quiet my ability to retain my views and my values. You can't tell me that the media are not a part of that narrative and seriously expect me to believe it. Yet, it doesn't prompt me to belittle those that oppose my views. It saddens me, though, that the reciprocal doesn't happen on the other end so much.

    Ok, back to YOUR soapbox (tehehehe), why can't we all just slow down and enjoy that thankful holiday, Thanksgiving, before running head-on into that colossal rush, known as Christmas season. Since I shop for Christmas all year long, I avoid the craziness of the drive-by shoppers, but I do have to tip-toe through the crowds for weekly/monthly shopping supplies. So, that rush comes soon enough, can we please just stop and enjoy Thanksgiving and spending quality time with our family and friends? Is that too much to ask? Marketplace … please don't slide my turkeys down that proverbial slippery slope. I'd like to gobble a little longer, please. See you on aisle 6, Renne. Please don't be offended if I say "Happy Thanksgiving" and "Merry Christmas" on my entrance and exit!) 🙂

  • Reply
    Barbara
    October 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Hear, hear, Renee'! And, Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    October 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Hear, hear, Renee'! And, Happy Thanksgiving!

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