Avoiding the holiday creep

Published 8:42 pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fall is a great time of year. I enjoy the crisp air, colorful leaves and everything pumpkin.

As early as September, I was checking out some of the fall and Halloween décor and spotted something in the corner — Christmas decorations. Not much, but they were still there.

I was slightly disturbed to notice that Starbucks switched to its Christmas cups and started offering its holiday beverages at the first of November. I swear this is the first year this has come so early.

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The beginning of November also seems to mean Christmas music on the radio stations and stores fully decorated. Holiday TV ads are starting to creep onto the airwaves earlier and earlier.

It seems like commercially we go straight from Halloween to Christmas. I guess Christmas is more of a profitable holiday, but I think it is a shame that Thanksgiving is getting the shaft.

I may be coming off like the Grinch, but I enjoy a holiday that is purely about being thankful and together with family and friends for a meal. No gifts, candy or other commercial things are necessary. I like Christmas, but let’s get through Thanksgiving first.

The unofficial start to Christmas shopping — Black Friday — is even bleeding over into Thanksgiving Day. National chains are opening progressively earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving in hopes of snagging more shoppers.

In the many years I have worked for newspapers, working on Thanksgiving was not unusual. What I thought was unusual was to see people waiting in lines starting on Thanksgiving — or even earlier — to make sure they get that big ticket item. Now people can just skip the turkey and trimmings and get straight to shopping.

This year is particularly bad, with Hanukkah happening earlier (Nov. 28) and there being six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. These calendar quirks are causing an even crazier shopping — I mean, holiday — season.

I just think we should celebrate one holiday at a time. And it is a shame that employees of these stores don’t get the opportunity to get a break and celebrate with their families before the Black Friday craziness.

On the bright side, some families have turned these post-turkey shopping trips into a new family tradition. Family members get to share in the thrill of the chase and getting a much-anticipated toy or TV. A family that shops together, stay together, right?

Here is a sampling of national chains with stores in or near Suffolk that plan to be open on Thanksgiving Day. Please be sure to check with the specific store to make sure that location is participating.

  • Walmart: Specials begin from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Many stores open 24 hours.
  • Target: Thanksgiving Day opening at 8 p.m., an hour earlier than last year. The stores will remain open all night and close on Black Friday at 11 p.m.
  • Best Buy: Thanksgiving Day opening at 6 p.m. More than 1,000 stores will be open all night on Thanksgiving and close on Friday at 10 p.m.
  • Kohl’s: Thanksgiving Day opening 8 p.m. Most stores will close again at midnight on Black Friday.