Stop the holiday madness and give thanks

Each year, stores start decorating for the holiday season earlier and earlier. By the time Christmas rolls around, I’m always tired of the music and the marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, though; I do enjoy the holidays, but we have gone too far. Many stores this year started putting up holiday advertising before Thanksgiving, and some of them being soon after Halloween.

This year I walked into a store well before Thanksgiving weekend, and they already had up Christmas lights and ornaments. I hadn’t even prepared for Thanksgiving yet, and now, they’re already talking about Christmas.

On top of that, stores are playing the same five carols we hear every year. Some people can’t get enough of these songs, but there’s a point at which you’ve heard enough of a song that you really don’t want to hear it again. I want a little more variety in what’s played.

I certainly did appreciate learning that Nordstrom is refusing to decorate for the holidays until Nov. 25, as they are one of the few.

All this early decorating drives people to even further believe that the holidays are supposed to be materialistic. While I do participate in gift giving, that isn’t really what the holiday season is about. We see advertisements telling us to buy the new gadget for a friend, or the new toy for a kid.

At this point, we aren’t giving because we want to show our appreciation. We are giving because it is expected. Giving in the spirit of the holiday is no longer what’s on someone’s mind. Over the history of the holidays, the meaning of gifts changed.

Along the same lines, I’d like to mention Black Friday. Black Friday is nothing but an excuse for large businesses to get people to buy more of their products. It’s a consumerism ploy.

And it usually isn’t the small local businesses that participate; it’s the large corporations who mass produce everything in China.

We may be supporting the economy by participating in Black Friday, but we sure aren’t supporting products made in the USA.

I would like to bring attention to Small Business Saturday, which focuses on purchasing items from the local stores in your area.

I will be refraining from buying gifts for anyone until after Thanksgiving; that is a suitable amount of time to make purchases. Additionally, I will focus on buying from local companies and give them my support. I suggest that you, too, look into doing this for the holiday season.