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By all means, go for it!

By all means, go for it!

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Happy ThanksChristmas!

And welcome to the holiday season, Grey Thursday. Black Friday’s been hogging it long enough.

Why not devote both Thanksgiving and the day after to competitive Christmas commercialism? The more the merrier, right?

Ditto for you big-box stores that began playing holiday music the day after Halloween. No harm, no fowl. In fact, it had to be a long enough wait, holding out until both Veterans Day and Halloween were behind us before busting out the Bing Crosby.

We understand that you have merchandise to move. In this economy, who could blame you for encouraging millions of Americans to allot exactly 45 minutes to Thanksgiving, so they can rush out and fight each other for a spot near the doors?

There is, indeed, an “I” in gift.

And, hey, if some Americans don’t wish to make the Thanksgiving effort to land the best deals in town, they can stay home and do the dishes.

It’s like the Libertarians say: Live and let live. And if that means coming to blows over a 32-inch flatscreen HDTV for just $248, who’s to judge?

In this season of giving, you first have to get. And why not start the getting before the stuffing’s cold? Where is the crime in being punctual?

And retailers: Don’t you dare feel so much as a giblet of guilt about putting all those people to work on Thanksgiving. Don’t think twice about keeping families apart on a day that generations ago was devoted to counting blessings.

Counting money is important, too.

Besides, people are lucky to have jobs in these tough times. In fact, many no doubt appreciate the overtime pay. If some of them can’t carve out a work shift on Thanksgiving, they obviously don’t need the job that badly, right?

And those of us preparing the Thanksgiving feasts for our loved ones? Forget about it. We don’t mind if some of our guests shove off from the table before the gravy makes its rounds. Android tablets don’t grow on trees.

Just because some of us spend two full days preparing a delicious Thanksgiving meal for the entire family (along with friends and neighbors, in many of our homes) doesn’t necessarily mean we want everybody sticking around.

We can manage the extra tables and folding chairs. We can ditch the bird carcasses, sort out the leftovers, watch the football games and play a few card games alone. We made the mess. We can clean it up.

No, really.

Some people even make the Black Friday shopping a family affair, so why not just start a day early?

In fact, here’s an idea: Why not just forget about spending any time at all with our loved ones on Thanksgiving? Why not just throw a little something in the crockpot, grab the lawn chairs and head to the stores?

Just think of how great Christmas will be if we stop wasting time on family and tradition and devote ourselves to what really matters: more stuff.

If all of this sounds uncharacteristically caustic, that’s because it is.

But please understand:

I like shopping. I have absolutely nothing against the hard-working people who keep the stores going, and I look forward to Christmas.

On Thanksgiving Day, however, my house will fill with 29 of my favorite people on the planet. We’ll cry a little through the prayer, because our beloved Aunt Nonie is gone.

And we’ll all miss my niece and nephew who are away for the first time and can’t make it home.

It’s not so much about resenting this rush to retail. It’s about the risk of losing any part of something so meaningful.

Contact Barb Ickes at 563-383-2316 or


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