A Life of Communication

What Happened to Thanksgiving?

Trick or treat! Wait, I meant happy holidays! But where did Thanksgiving go? It seems that every year Christmas seems to come a bit sooner than it did the year before.

We are already seeing the first holiday commercials, airing just days after Halloween has ended. Toys R Us has already released their expectations for best sellers this year. Christmas is still two months away!

Has advertising taken over and rid our world of the joy of Thanksgiving? What do you think?

Here is a great article from Relevant Magazine that gave me the idea to write this blog post. According to the Relevant writers, Americans spend more than $400 billion every year on Christmas. YIKES! This makes our job as PR professionals a little bit harder. How do we break through the clutter and represent our clients best?

Why is Christmas coming early this year? I almost forgot to register to vote this year. Perhaps this year seems to be more advertising heavy because there is not a presidential election. There are few ads about voting this season, leaving even more room for media planners to snatch up advertising space for the latest products this holiday season.

Maybe Thanksgiving is being forgotten because people are more concerned with Black Friday than spending time with their family. Some stores even open on Thanksgiving night! I was always surprised to see people camping outside of retail stores to get the latest gadgets for a somewhat discounted price. Good job marketers and PR, this is your dream come true! When I was in high school I worked at Best Buy for three years. That means I was scheduled to work on three Black Fridays. This is the closest I will ever get to “shopping” on this crazy day of the year. When I was a junior in high school, a family set up a tent outside the store THREE days before Thanksgiving. They even brought a grill and cooked a turkey right in the parking lot.


Life of a Best Buy Employee on Black Friday

This is a picture of how I felt after Black Friday at Best Buy. And yes, I am hiding in a box trying to sleep. Little did you know that after I sold you a computer I hid behind the counter in a giant box.

Even though I study communications, advertising, public relations and how to gain the consumer’s attention… I am not willing to sacrifice time with my family to save some money. It’s no wonder that, as Americans, we skip over a holiday focused on thankfulness, and focus on a holiday that has become an unfortunate expression of wanting to purchase anything we can get our hands on!

Finally, I think that Christmas is coming early this year because there is a focus on low-income shoppers. Many stores are offering free lay-away and payment plans for the holiday season. This is a brilliant idea from the marketers all over the world.

What do you think? Have we forgotten about Thanksgiving?