Recently, a disturbing trend has pushed its way further into our conscience. I don’t know if initially started by those excited for this time of year or the “evil” corporations and their greed (this is supposed to be humorous). But, when did we decide to skip over Thanksgiving and jump right to the holiday season including Christmas?

Over the years, I have watched stores open early the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) for shoppers only to push it to midnight, 9 p.m., and now 6 p.m. in some places the day of the turkey feast. Besides covering the event for the paper, I have avoided the shopping rush at stores on Black Friday. The bargains at stores really aren’t worth passing up time with my family at home.

That was the first time that I noticed that the holiday season has edged its way into Thanksgiving.

The next thing is the decorum of stores and certain people’s homes. After Halloween has scared itself away until next year, some decide that it is time to put up a Christmas Tree. Whatever happened to turkeys and pilgrims? Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for hanging outdoor Christmas lights after Halloween because who wants to be hanging off a ladder or up on the roof (minus Santa Claus) in December?

Those are all things that I can let pass because it is minor and most of the time I don’t have to endure it unless I put myself in those spaces. Something that I will not tolerate is breaking of the old Christmas music rule. This written (not really) rule states that no grouping of Christmas songs can be played before the Friday after Thanksgiving. The rule also extends to when the music will finally cease to play until the next following season (that would be Jan. 2). We should not hear “Blue Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You” played back-to-back-to-back-to-back on the radio at the moment.

I do want to point out that I love the holiday season. Really everything about it (except the cold) is something that brings back great memories and makes me happy. I love the lights, the music and the decorations. I love the anticipation of children as they shake presents to try and guess what they could be receiving this year. Heck, I was born during that time of year and enjoy celebrating Christmas, my birthday and the New Year.

But I don’t want people to skip over Thanksgiving. The holiday is a special time to get together with family members near and far and to give thanks for health, wealth and company. And for myself, it sparks the great debate in our kitchen on who the best chef (someone that can read directions) is in the house between my wife and I. I believe last year it was a tie as my criticism (not very smart of me) of the meal made for an interesting preparation of Christmas dinner from yours truly (so what pan do I put this in?).

So, what I really am hinting at is please don’t skip Thanksgiving…and keep your holiday music to yourself (until the day after Thanksgiving).

Zach Stich is the managing editor at The Fergus Falls Daily Journal. His column appears each Thursday.

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