Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Comes First - The Last Round-Up

This past weekend, I threw a brick through my TV screen.

No, not really. But that's what I felt like doing, and often. Every time an ad came on that featured Christmas music, or touted some chintzy Christmas-themed sale, or tried to convince me to run down to some damn store to stand in line with red-and-green-clad troglodytes buying the latest cell phone (you know, the one that sings Beautiful while it scrubs your balls?)... well, if a brick had been handy, it would have been the end of my TV. Luckily for my home life (which would have been severely injured had I destroyed the TV, since MY WIFE considers television on par with food and water as an essential) two things enabled me to keep my sanity:

1 - The Remote Control

Whenever I heard the first notes of far-too-early Christmas music, or saw the beginning of another ad from a jeweler warning me to spend two months salary for a diamond because otherwise the woman who loves me won't love me, I changed the channel. It helped that it was the weekend and multiple football games were on the air at the same time. I was able to avoid all but a few seconds of pain.

2 - You

Whatever else may have been driving me around the bend, you wonderful people kept me from careening over a cliff. So many of you have written sterling pieces about Thanksgiving and contributed your voices to the annual fight against the Christmas Ho-Ho-Whores! Just thinking about those who, for instance, sent me the following cartoon...

... kept me smiling.

(I was sent this cartoon by eleven or twelve different people, and every one of them said, "See, Sully? You're not alone!" You have no idea how much that cheered me up. Thanks!)

So, the TV did not perish via blunt trauma and my sanity (such as it is) was saved. And you know what else? I think I have the will to do this again next year. And the year after. And the year after that, too, if need be. A couple of weeks ago, I wasn't so sure. I was thinking maybe it was time to give it up, put it to rest, admit it was a losing battle and just try to ignore as much of it as possible. Now? Target can kiss my ass. I refuse to let bastards like they are win.

(Why am I singling out Target? They're opening their Black Friday sale at Midnight on Thanksgiving itself. Even the worst offenders have usually waited until 5am or so on Friday. What this means is that everybody who works at Target will have to be at work by 10:00 or 11:00 on Thanksgiving night. And, in order to do that, most will have to get some sleep during Thanksgiving Day and miss family gatherings and dinner. So FUCK TARGET, the greedy sons of bitches.

If you'd like to join me in another effort of shoveling shit against the tide... excuse me, join me in signing a petition to try and get them to change this policy, go HERE.)

So, anyway, they can keep knocking me down, but I'm going to get up every time. And knowing there are so many of you who share that conviction (though perhaps with varying degrees of obscene venom) is what will keep me going.

And the least I can do, by way of repayment, is give a link to you folks who have written stuff.

(The most I could do is send each of you a check, but that's not happening.)

Following are the newest Thanksgiving Comes First entries.

Lisa McColgan

A Broad With A View (Part One)

A Broad With A View (Part Two)

Growing Up In Waldron

A-Bloggin :-D

Lindsay's List

Living By Heidi Metro

The Christmas Conspiracy

Messy Mimi

Indigo Girl

Here's something interesting: It's a website totally devoted to the idea of TCF (although it has a different title - TBT!)

Take Back Thanksgiving!

And here's a funny article, from the prestigious monthly magazine, The Atlantic, with the same title!

Take Back Thanksgiving!

And now, as is my custom, those who previously wrote articles and blogs this year, and who were mentioned here before, will again be listed. It pays to get on the bandwagon early!

As you might expect from someone with my ego, I'll blow my own horn first. I had an op-ed published in The Boston Herald. You can read it HERE.

The less-ego-driven (and probably more valuable because of it) souls, are:

Ivan Toblog

Long Hollow

The Surly Writer

Down Silly Rabbit's Hole

By God's Good Grace

Postcards From A Broad

Out & About In New York City




The Fifty Factor

Seeking Sanity

HOT Takes

The Smitten Image

Eternal Lizdom

Tilting At Windmills

The Best Of Times In A Moogie's World

Exile In Portales



Teacher's Pet

Uncle Skip

Messy Mimi

Tara Dharma

Matt Conlon

Down River Drivel

$12 A Day, And A Baby On The Way

Sick Bitch

Finally, as a special treat for you (if you've lasted long enough to get down to this remote section of the posting, you deserve a special treat...) here are some links to the very best writings I've ever seen concerning Thanksgiving and TCF.

One of the main joys of my undertaking this otherwise only-slightly-rewarding battle each year is that I am often privileged to be the first person to read heartfelt and beautiful pieces written by kindred spirits. I went back through the many postings from other years and selected my all-time favorites. Here they are. Every one of them is well worth whatever time it takes to read them. Trust me.

My wonderful friend, Thimbelle, wrote one of the best. As a bonus, it contains actual knowledge gleaned from having worked in retail.

Melinda hasn't blogged in quite some time (at least not at the blog to which I'm sending you) but her posting was, and is, one of those I have enjoyed re-visiting. She deserved many more readers than her lack of comments, overall, would indicate that she had. In any case, enjoy her words at From One London To Another.

One of my favorite semi-obscenity-laced rants of all time was done at Diaryland. Not for all tastes, I assume, but neither is some of my stuff (maybe including my Walmart rant above.) This makes me laugh out loud, anyway.

Janet, at Adventures In The 32-Aker Wood, is another of my favorite blog buddies. And she more than earns her keep with this wonderful reminiscence/tirade.

My Cousin David's piece is no longer available via his personal blog, but I did find it HERE. I'm still proud to have him as my family member.

Desmond Jones (who is actually Craig Desmond, but that's another story) wrote a wonderful piece concentrating on the Advent season (which is probably a more correct starting point for the "Christmas season" than Black Friday, but I figured getting retailers to actually acknowledge the religious aspects of the holiday was an even longer shot than getting them to hold off beating us over the head with their blasphemous ads until after Thanksgiving.)

(Craig will probably publish the piece again, later this year, and I think that would be great.)

Doctor Grumpy was (and, I assume, still is) magnificently twisted.

Oodles Of Funch gives with the righteous indignation and the family memories! A win-win!

Lime is among my most-visited and favorite bloggers year-round, but THIS made me love her all the more dearly.

Finally, I will once again send you to visit Cricket. His is my favorite piece of all. Find it HERE (and if you're finding it for the first time, I envy you. It is not only one of the best writings about Thanksgiving, it is one of the best writings on the 'net, ever, period.)

All of the above are tremendously good, so what follows below may be a lie. Still, it's tradition, and that's part of what Thanksgiving is about, so...

Soon, with more better stuff.


Craig said...

Awww, Sully, you're too kind. . .

But, you know, it's less than two weeks until Advent starts; my traditional (well, I never really meant for it to become 'traditional', you know, but your encouragement is just more than I can resist) Advent post will be going up on the 27th (which is, oddly enough, the First Sunday of Advent).

I was in a retail establishment over the weekend (not Walmart; I HATE that place), and they had the 'Christmas' songs rockin' the piped-in-muzak. But, I realized, nobody plays real Christmas songs for public consumption anymore. It's all the 'White Christmas', 'Chestnuts Roasting', 'The Weather Outside Is Frightful', 'Winter Wonderland', 'Baby It's Cold Outside' (and - really? Some perv tryin' to get his girlfriend to spend the night is a 'Christmas' song??) etc, etc. So, what the hell. . .


(And, my name isn't really Craig Desmond, either; the whole 'Desmond Jones' thing was taken from a Beatles song, which just seemed somehow fitting for me to use as a blog-o-nym.) (But hey, nice thought. . .)

Anonymous said...

Hello! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established website like yours require a massive amount work? I am completely new to blogging but I do write in my diary every day. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

Hilary said...

I'm happy to see that your cause is getting so much support. You're an instigator of the very best kind.

Suldog said...

Anonymous - If you want to write to me privately, and give me an e-mail for reply, I'll try to help. One stipulation: You must give me an actual name, and your website address.

Suldog said...

Craig - Well, I know your real name isn't Craig Desmond, but I didn't figure you wanted the beans spilled on my blog. Nor did I - beans are messy. Also, you're spot on about the Christmas songs. All schlock, all the time. In their right time and place, I like them - don't get me wrong - but that's one of the tangential things I despise. If I heard Jesus' name one or two times, the earliness wouldn't be as hideous.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

So far I've managed to stay away from the place whose name starts with W and rhymes with fart. The irony is they are the closest major retailer to my house.
It kinda makes me throw up a little when I hear some folks say how wonderful they are.

The Broad said...

This annual exercise of yours is very helpful to those of us who feel the frustration of unwanted commericalism being thrust upon us for so many months. For a long time I peppered letters to my sister with (scream, scream, scream) every time the 'C' word was mentioned. She very helpfully sent me a wonderful present to help: a blow up doll that stands on my desk and is about a foot high of 'The Screamer' in the Munch painting. It is one of my treasured possessions. I am in the midst of reading everything and enjoying them all.

Anonymous said...

"...from a jeweler warning me to spend two months salary for a diamond because otherwise the woman who loves me won't love me,"

So I take it you're NOT going to Jared's.

Poor wife.


My you had a lot to say... but so many kind words honoring others. That was very nice of ye.

Michelle H. said...

I didn't know Walmart was opening at Midnight on Thanksgiving. Sadly, when a major conglomerate does something like this, a whole lot of other businesses join in. UGH!

So I take it your tv watching has cut down immensely (when football isn't on) from all the Christmas advertising (I actually saw the first Christmas ad on Halloween here). What do you do to fill up the spare time?

Clare Dunn said...

Thanks for the mention, Sul!

I can understand your frustration re: "the losing battle". I have shared everything you blogged on Facebook, Twitter, my blog pages, e-mail, etc. and the response, from my so-called friends, was dismal at best. But I'm no quitter! I will bombard the (bas)turds again next year!!!

xoxoxo, me

Mich said...

I cannot understand why anyone would go near a Wal-Mart on Black Friday, especially after all those news stories of knife fights over low-priced computers. People are cray-cray!!


Buck said...

This past weekend, I threw a brick through my TV screen.

You need one of those foam rubber bricks but I don't think they're made any longer. I did a google search to help ya out and came up empty. My father had one back in the day and he USED it. A lot.

silly rabbit said...

You are such a sweetheart! There is so much to read linked here that I will be entertained for days.

I agree with you that Cricket has the very best that I have read. But admit too, that I'm mighty partial to that bug. =;] Not that he isn't a wonderful writer, he is!

I'll be happy to sign the petition, which I don't often do.

Best of all... I hope... I'll be back here doing this again next year, hopefully with better stuff.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

Now I remember what else I was going to say.
I have never totally removed the TCF images from either of my blogs. The are a year round reminder that we have much to be thankful for every day. I will grant that the one at RM&P isn't so obvious because it is at the bottom of the page, but it is big.

messymimi said...

Had a comment written, and my internet went down for the day. Ugh.

Well, we will keep fighting, i'm sure, and maybe someday it will make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Several of my FB friends posted the Nordstrom ad - your campaign is gaining momentum! I've already seen so many shopping ads, I'm thinking of boycotting traditional gifts altogether!

Tim Farn said...

My comment isn't as deep as everybody else's. I just wanted to say the Santa vs. Turkey cartoon was hilarious.

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Steve Bailey said...

Sully I as well am working on a Thanksgiving post which you have helped to inspire.... I will send you a link next week when its done. oh ya and screw you Wallmart!!

Thimbelle said...

Sadly, I've been getting "Black Friday Sneak Peek" emails all week from different retailers - both brick & mortar, and online.

Sirius XM began playing Christmas and Holiday music on about *7* different channels on Monday.

Maybe part of the problem is that Thanksgiving doesn't have a THEME SONG!

Maybe, if we could come up with some Thanksgiving music... You know, it could be kind of snappy, jazzy, and upbeat! Nothing sad - the turkey is going to make us sleepy anyway, so we need help staying awake!

Let's get someone on this, ASAP. I'm thinking if we can get a Thanksgiving THEME SONG in place for next year, we can maybe beat back Black Friday to at least... Black Friday!

Thimbelle said...

Oh, and as always - I do appreciate the mention! :) You are too kind, my friend!

Perhaps you should be rewarded with some Cakes of Fruity Goodness? :D

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank you for the condolensces, dear Sullie.

I usually love doing "thanksgiving first" - I missed this year (although TG isn't until next week, so I do have some time).

WHen I was in TX during most all of October, time was all messed up - so really I forgot it was November by time I was back in the Smokies. So every time a commercial was on about christmas, or a store had christmas music, etc, I'd feel so discombobulated and surreal - what happened to October? I'd think, even though it was November.

Sad thing is, though, it STILL was too early for these things. Dang.

Kathryn Magendie said...

of course I misssspeeeled condolences (and just did it again and had to fix it!) - but for some reason I like placing that "s" there - they should really think about changing the spelling - just sayin.

Suldog said...

Thimbelle - Hmmmmmm. A Thanksgiving song? How about...

Let's have some turkey!
Who wants to stay perky?
Gimme some potatoes!
Then we'll go to Barbados!

I'm still working on it...

Craig said...

Is that supposed to be like Adam Sandler's 'Hanukkah Song'?

There's got to be a few thousand 'giving thanks' type songs around, just waiting to be anointed. . .

Daryl said...

the mute button is the best button on the remote after the fast forward button (because its only usable while watching pre-recorded stuff)

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

Isn't Over the river and through the woods a Thanksgiving song?

Jackie said...

I'm so glad that you didn't use that throwing arm of yours with the remote as the ball. I cringe at the thought of what would be left of the television.
When I switch channels because of commercials, etc. I get commercials on almost every channel. Is it a conspiracy? Do all the stations "plan" it this way?? Methinks so!! I get SO irritated by that. But, I'm off the topic (again...sigh.) I went back to the Boston Herald, signed up again. (I have several e-mail addresses :)) )...so, I used another one, and voila! My signup was accepted this time. I am happy to support this worthy cause, Jim, and I hope that you (we all) continue it year after year. Hugs and warm wishes for a beautiful Thanksgiving for you and Your Wife.

Pearl said...

What great links, Sul!

Everyone I know prefers that the holidays be kept separate -- the only ones who appear to be pro holiday integration are those in charge of sales and marketing at the retail level. Those people must be stopped!


Three Hundred Sixty Five said...

Thanks for providing a link to the petition: I only wish it was Wal-Mart, but I was recently at WM...and they actually had some Thanksgiving decor. Well, I couldn't find what I needed there, so ended up at Target, where they were not only playing Christmas music, there wasn't a single maple leaf place mat or set of turkey salt & peppers. It was all Christmas.

Please don't give up on TCF, you inspire us to continue the fight!

Suldog said...

My mistake. Target. Fuck TARGET.

Thimbelle said...

@ Uncle Skip: I had completely forgotten "Over the River" until you mentioned it! We sang that every year when I was in elementary school. Great song, and I have a new earworm for today!

@ Suldoggy: In these parts, Target has actually kept Christmas "pushed back" to BEHIND the Thanksgiving stuff - although it is only two aisles of T'giving related products, compared to eight for Xmas. Nevertheless, credit where it is due, etc.

The Big WM, however, cleared out the entire garden area - indoors and out - for Christmas BEFORE Halloween. They pushed the few remaining plants out on to the sidewalk, and stacked the remaining plastic chairs out back by the "Oil & Lube Express" (I can't decide if "Oil & Lube Express is a better album title or band name...) In went the Christmas merchandise. What little Halloween/Thanksgiving (now mercilessly combined into one "Autumnal" section - anything orange, black, or with leaves on it) remained was shoved into a feature area over by the Pharmacy.

Now, to be fair to both retailers, we live in a skewed world here - our WM is the busiest store in it's region, and in the top ten percent in the nation. So we don't get the same WM "experience" that most stores do. Everything at our local store is micro-managed by Bentonville.

Our Target store, while certainly not the largest, is the #1 store in the nation for it's size, and so again, gets special "attention" from corporate HQ.

Our little corner of the Heartland has been booming, and our (formerly) sleepy little village has become the fastest growing city in our state.

I would bet every fruitcake on your Christmas table that everyone's "retail experience" may vary widely from store to store, and market to market, depending on where they are standing in the country.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! I think you've encapsulated the mission of this blog and our challenge.