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Whatever happened to Thanksgiving?

It’s October 29 and, as I’m driving through downtown Martin, I see something that nearly makes me slam on my brakes. Care to take a guess what it was?

Christmas decorations. A full two days before Halloween, the town was already putting up its Christmas decorations.

Now, I love Christmas just as much as anyone else. Decorating, buying gifts (and trying to keep the boyfriend from guessing what I’ve bought for him), eating till I’m blue in the face, getting lots of neat stuff… What’s not to love about the holiday? But Christmas, like everything else, has its own time and place.

I’m a huge Halloween fan. It’s my absolute favorite holiday. When October 1 rolls around, everything comes out and the decorating begins. For me, it’s a month-long holiday. Every payday, I go and buy a little something else for Halloween. I don’t even think about what lies beyond October 31 until after all of the candy is gone.

So to see these decorations up really made me angry. It was time for Halloween, not Christmas! And what about Thanksgiving? Have we all just forgotten about the great American holiday? The day that’s all about giving thanks? What happened to it?

Christmas, like every other holiday, has become so commercialized that people have forgotten why we celebrate Christmas. Even if you don’t count yourself as a religious person, Christmas is still a chance to spend time with family and have a good time.

But when you start getting ready for Christmas so early, by the time the holiday gets here, you don’t care anymore! You’re so sick of Christmas carols, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas candy, Christmas parades that you end up being sick of Christmas!

And then, the whole meaning of Christmas is gone out the window. All you care about is getting the holiday over with so you can take down all of the lights and stop having to hear “Carol of the Bells” every time you turn on the radio.

As I mentioned earlier, what happened to Thanksgiving? I love this holiday! I can stuff myself silly and get away with it. I get to cook for three days straight and have everyone oooh and ahhh over my food. I get to test my cousin’s sweet potatoes that she’s cooked with whiskey. I get to see relatives that are about to have a baby (which happens at least once a year), others that I haven’t seen in almost a year, and brag about all of the cool stuff I’ve done. I get to show off projects, papers and other things that I slaved over while at school. And I get to start gleaning ideas about Christmas. I also get to totally own all of the rest of my family in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Christmas is a great holiday, one that most of us spend the entire year looking forward to. And when the day after Thanksgiving arrives, my Christmas tree goes up, and I start getting ready to buy gifts en masse. That’s when my Christmas season starts. Once I’ve stuffed as much turkey into my stomach as possible, and I’ve seen Santa Claus come in at the end of the Macy’s Parade, then I know it’s all right to get out the tree and start hanging up lights. I can pull out the Christmas tunes and start getting in the spirit. But not before I scare a couple of trick-or-treaters and eat so much that I sleep for the next week straight.