An Open Apology to Thanksgiving

barry currin, published November, 2013)

Dear Thanksgiving,

Things have been tough for you lately, and I for one am sorry.

Just a few years ago, you had it made. You were the most festive American holiday. Sure, Independence Day has its cookouts and fireworks, but it couldn’t hold a Roman candle to you.

You kicked off a 4-day weekend of relaxation and fellowship. We got up, watched the parade, maybe traveled over the river and through the woods – without much traffic – to Grandma’s while the sun burned the frost into fog along the countryside. White smoke wafted from chimneys. A deer stood peacefully by the roadside, providing a nice touch. We played football in the yard in the afternoon.

There was no pressure to look good for you in a bathing suit. There were no gifts to worry about. You were the best smelling of all the holidays, and of course, the best tasting.

Simply stated, you were perfect. How could we screw you up so badly?

You are supposed to be the start of the holiday season. But, we have made you irrelevant. Stores crank up “Feliz Navidad” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” the day after Halloween and blare them in an incessant loop in stores for 55 ear-numbing days. People decorate their homes for Christmas before they finish eating the un-given-away Halloween candy. It’s ludicrous. It makes me angry, and I know it makes you feel slighted. We have turned the 12 days of Christmas into the 12 weeks of commercialism, and you have been lost in the shuffle.

I guess we’re embarrassed by what we’ve done, because we can’t even force ourselves to call you by your real name anymore. No need to thank us, “Turkey Day.” Enjoy your nickname.

And speaking of made-up words, I know you hate “doorbusters” as much as I do. I know you hate Black Friday, as well. And, I know you now hate pre-Black Friday even worse.

“Don’t wait ’til Thanksgiving to shop… Shop at the Thanksgiving Now Sale,” the TV commercial said.

We shouldn’t blame it all on the retailers, though. We feed the monster. We’re the ones who get up at 4 a.m., find the one last credit card that isn’t maxed out and hit the drive-through for a $5 cup of coffee before elbowing our way toward that $11.88 flat screen TV — even though no one we know needs another television at any price.

And, as always, some of us will get trampled busting through the door in the dark. Countless others will lose control and fight over the last Xbox. I hope people in other countries don’t watch the US news on Thanksgiving night. We’re greedy, we’re sad, we’re lemmings; and, it would be nice to keep that little secret in the family.

How did we let it happen, Thanksgiving? Maybe you need your own songs. That couldn’t hurt. Has anyone ever written you a song? If they have I don’t know it. And if they did now, it would probably be called “‘Twas the day before Black Friday.” What even rhymes with doorbusters, anyway? Labor Day doesn’t have any songs, and it is still a fairly relevant holiday. But then again, Labor Day hasn’t become synonymous with kicking off the most selfish time of the year.

Thanksgiving, maybe you could pull strings, call the big retailers and get those doorbuster sales moved back to Labor Day. Then you’d be back the way you used to be, and we could make the Butterball hotline the most commercial thing about Thanksgiving.

And, we could be truly thankful we went back to celebrating one holiday at a time.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let your voice be heard below by commenting.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him:


  1. You are so right with this! I wonder the same thing. How can Christmas and Halloween be on the shelves at the same time! I love your apology!

  2. I remember also B.C. I totally agree!Remember we always had a football game in johnny Waynes field every thanksgiving day!I think about those days a lot the older I get!from one of the boys in the hood to another,take care!

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