Christmas coming early

Rachel Keslosky
Assoc. Photo Editor

Haven’t we just entered the month of November? From the date that this article will be published, there are forty-eight days left until Christmas. For most of us, this means we will be resting comfortably at home or traveling to see family and friends. Retail stores, however, have been celebrating Christmas since early October.
I shopped at the Target store in Lititz twice before fall break and was thoroughly shocked to see that there was twice as much winter holiday décor on display than there was for Halloween. As soon as midnight on November 1st struck, Santa’s elves kicked it into high gear.
Why are retail stores advertising their holiday sales farther in advance than years past? The world’s demand for buying at a lower price and buying earlier gives retailers the initiative to slash prices before Black Friday.
A recent American Express survey shows that 27 percent—a 3 percent increase from last year—of consumers wish to be finished with their holiday shopping by December 1st, which is three days after this year’s date for Thanksgiving.
I continuously ask myself, “Who would want to shop on Thanksgiving? Who wants to even work on a holiday?” From the time I graduated from high school a year and a half ago, I realized how important going home for the holidays is to me. Let’s be honest: free laundry and home-cooked meals are good incentives to make a trip home as well.
The sad truth is that many workers are forced into work to deal with the massive amount of people who have the compulsive need to shop on a holiday. While this means more money in the pockets of these employees, it also means less time spent with their families. This paycheck might even be what just about provides a family with a Christmas dinner, or even one small present for each of their children.
Macy’s was recently given a lot of criticism after announcing that they will be their stores, for the first time ever, at 8 PM on Thanksgiving. They are joining several other retailers—such as Toys “R” Us, Walmart, and Target—on the Thursday night launch of their sales.
When I was younger, my mother used to leave around 10 PM to work at Coach’s midnight opening on Black Friday. She would work until 6 AM, return home to sleep, and then return to work around 4 PM. Realistically, she would have to leave around 3 PM in order to make an hour-long trip that would normally be about twenty minutes long. I honestly could not see the worth in fighting other sleep-deprived people for half-priced bags—which were still worth more than $200—that would ultimately go out of style in a few months.
As my friends and I complain to each other about how Christmas is being put on store shelves earlier and earlier each year, it makes me realize that our generation and the next few generations may be the ones to force the traditional Thanksgiving gathering to the point of extinction. Soon enough, we may be having a fried chicken dinner from Kentucky Fried Chicken while camping outside a store the night before Thanksgiving.
If we are so unhappy with Christmas being placed on shelves before Halloween, why do we have such a high desire for buying with the mindset of “sooner rather than later?”
Before you ask your parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents for the newest Apple products, the latest in winter fashion, or the state-of-the-art gaming consoles, stop and think about this: Those items, especially the ones being produced by Apple, will be outdated in less than six months. When that time comes, this country will be handing money over to buy the latest models once again.
Be thankful for what you have, and stop burning a hole in your pocket. You’re going to need that money to pay off your college loans in a few years. Here’s to all of the Tiny Tim’s out there, like myself, who appreciate what they have and are thankful for a peaceful holiday.