Retro Thanksgiving ad

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

For those not familiar with the term Christmas Creep — and no, I’m not referring to the skeevy dude dressed as Santa Claus at the mall who looks way too excited to have little kids sitting on his lap — it refers to the ever-widening window stores use to stock their shelves with gift items and bombard us with advertisements.

While some people still debate whether or not climate change is a real thing, there can be no debate that Santa and his multi-billion dollar operation have inched further and further outside the traditionally defined Christmas shopping season barrier of Black Friday. It has become more and more common to see Christmas store displays and ads not only well before Thanksgiving, but now just after Halloween. Hell, I even spotted displays in places like Home Depot and Lowe’s before Halloween.

Robot Santa (Futurama)
Target acquired: Thanksgiving

I’ve come to a grudging acceptance concerning the insidiousness of Christmas Creep. With the economy being the way it is, companies are increasingly desperate to get back into the black as quickly as possible. (Although I suspect that, much like gas prices, we won’t be seeing a pullback away from Halloween once things improve.) ┬áBut this year in particular I’ve witnessed a disturbing development, one that I feel compelled to comment upon.

With the retail calendar effectively altered to segue immediately from Halloween into the Christmas season, it seems that Thanksgiving has disappeared from the radar almost entirely. Granted, the holiday doesn’t possess the same commercial potential as Halloween or Christmas, and the whole point of the holiday is far removed from commerce, but it feels to me like it’s just vanishing from the scene altogether.

As of this writing we’re less than three weeks from Thanksgiving, and I have hardly seen one mention of it on TV, radio, the internet, or even just in public. Perhaps I’m guilty of observation bias, but I don’t think so. I really think we’re beginning to see one of our most American of holidays get passed over like a middle child, and why? Because it’s not profitable enough. I guess there’s just not enough money to be had in family and charity.

Oh well, at least we can still enjoy my fine collection of vintage Thanksgiving advertisements, right?

Chris Holmes Author