I know…

I’m old and grumpy, okay???

But dammit, Christmas crap isn’t supposed to be on the shelves until AFTER Thanksgiving, FFS…

Grumble… I know they market Christmas stuff year round, and there are locations that have ‘Christmas Stores’, especially in tourist areas that are open year round, but what happened to having time to celebrate Thanksgiving?

The ‘history’ of Thanksgiving in the US is interesting, from Wiki.

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, and also to a well recorded 1619 event in Virginia. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, concluded with a religious celebration as dictated by the group’s charter from the London Company, which specifically required “that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned … in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631. According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden. Now called Oktober Feesten, Leiden’s autumn thanksgiving celebration in 1617 was the occasion for sectarian disturbance that appears to have accelerated the pilgrims’ plans to emigrate to America. Later in Massachusetts, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned the colony’s thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress, each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”. Franklin D. Roosevelt finally proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November as the ‘official’ day in December 1941.

OBTW, we aren’t the only country that celebrates it…

I ‘think’ part of the problem is that it was originally a day to give ‘thanks’ to God for the Pilgrim’s survival, in addition to being a day to give thanks for the harvest. Since it’s ‘tied’ to Christians, may are trying to minimize it… Sigh…



I know… — 19 Comments

  1. The First Thanksgiving was a celebration of a bountiful harvest after two failed harvests and massive starvation. Why did those harvests fail?

    1. The Pilgrims were townsfolk, not farmers. They learned quickly, though.

    2. The compact called for strict, egalitarian communism. Nobody had any incentive to work hard. So they didn’t. This goes to show that personal survival is not a sufficient incentive for hard work, when you know that others will just steal the fruits of your labor.

    3. After two failed harvests, the survivors (and newly arrived colonists) threw out that portion of the compact, and declared that each family shall work their own plot, and reap their own harvest. That fall, they had more than enough food to go around, even after a mild drought.

    The First Thanksgiving was a celebration of a bountiful harvest, with full thanks to God for the bounty of the land, and for teaching the faithful an important lesson. That’s the part that has been covered up and nearly lost.

  2. Christmas stuff goes out early because idiots buy it that early. Trust me, the mega retailers wouldn’t be putting the effort (and there’s a fair bit of money and time involved with setting christmas) into putting it out so early if they weren’t reasonably positive that customers were going to buy it. And they’re right. Less than 24hrs after our fake christmas trees are assembled for display we’d sold several trees, a matching number of ornament cases, and a not small number of lights. And sales have continued to increase daily since.

  3. We just had the first ‘Christmas’ advertisement on the TV. Too early for this crap, that’s for sure.

  4. How can any liberal tie a harvest celebration in with Christmas? Oh, yeah, wait, it’s because Christians celebrated it, right? Then if that’s true, we also need to get rid of Independence Day (because it used to be a big church day up north) or Memorial Day (where a lot of families used to go to churches to ponder their dead) or Armistice Day/Veterans’ Day (where a lot of Christians….) (Dude, we as a nation don’t celebrate a lot of religious holidays, else we’d be going to mass like almost every day, right? As an old altar boy, celebrating the various Saints’ days was a lotta work, but fun.)

    Now, let’s start going after holidays based not on Christianity or celebrated by Christianity, like Bombadan and such.

    Hey, I have an idea. Let’s just do away with holidays altogether, since the concept is based on holy days. Citizens will now work 6 full days, with one day to contemplate the joys of socialism. All hail the godless state, which stands above us (Uh, dude, that is elevating the State to the position of God, which makes it a religion so we can’t have that, can we?)

    Bah, humbug. Says one old grumpy dude.

    • Beans, you just described the calendar of the French Revolution between 1792 and 1795. Except the weeks were 10 days long, because everything was made to fit the metric system, including the 365.25 day calendar.

  5. Dammit- There is that…

    Beans- Sadly, I can’t disagree… Welcome to my little corner of the world. Beer’s in the fridge, coffee’s on the back burner.

  6. Hey Old NFO;

    Yeap they are getting earlier and earlier….used to be you didn’t see anything until first of December, but I saw walmart laying Christmas stuff out right after labor day.

  7. Two things. 1) Costco had aisles of Christmas toys complete with Christmas tree displays for sale around about September 1. 2) Big box home improvement stores completely skip over Thanksgiving too. They put up Christmas stuff before Halloween and never put anything out for Thanksgiving anymore.

  8. As it happens, I just reread Charles Frazier’s “Cold Mountain”. I’ve always sort of felt about Thanksgiving the same way as one of the characters in the story, Ruby by name:
    “…she found it to contain the mark of a tainted culture. To be thankful on just the one day.”

  9. TXRed- I didn’t know that. That would have been… messy…

    DH- Sigh, I’ve heard that, but I don’t do Costco.

    TB- Point!

  10. I thought we’d be free from the early Christmas stuff, but we’re not. The local grocery chains are German and Germans do love Christmas. I’ve been keeping an eye out for gluhwein mulling spices, but I haven’t seen them yet.

    • Craft stores get a pass. Crafters have to start working months ahead.