Judging by all the buzz on the Internet the last week or so, some folks in the States are less than happy about how the holiday of Thanksgiving is being treated.
In short, one big family holiday where copious amounts of food are consumed is being eclipsed by another such holiday, namely Christmas. This year, many American stores -- perhaps a little too eager to kick off the shopping season -- have been putting up X-mas decorations and promotions a week or more before Thanksgiving. It all seems a bit unseemly for some.
|"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) by Jennie A. Brownscombe|
It’s like the main act of a concert taking the stage while the warm up band is still in the dressing room. It’s like being a little pushy with the Christmas spirit. Now in addition to the supposed "War on Christmas", there's a "War between Thanksgiving and Christmas". Only in America. It’s been dubbed “Christmas Creep”.
Not only are some stores decking their halls prematurely, others are going a big step further. Some major retail chains, not satisfied with the recent practice of opening the cash registers one minute past midnight on Thanksgiving night (getting a head start on Black Friday, usually the busiest, some would say most gratuitously cutthroat shopping day of the year), have risked the ire and eternal condemnation of the public by announcing they will open on Thanksgiving Day itself.
|Lights at home.|
Here in Finland, without another autumn holiday like Thanksgiving to feel overshadowed and unappreciated, Christmas Creep isn’t an issue.
The signs that the season is upon us are everywhere, in the stores, on TV, and most noticeably on Aleksanterinkatu, one of Helsinki’s busiest shopping streets, where the traditional Christmas lights were switched on already on Monday. At our house, we strung our outside lights last weekend, and we were by no means the first in the neighborhood.
I doubt anyone in Helsinki begrudges a little early Christmas cheer. Certainly not me. The lights are especially nice to see, what with the gloomy weather (not even any snow!) and the pitch-blackness that descends already at five o’clock. Any electric candle you can light in this cursed darkness is an early gift from St. Nick, if you ask me.