Odds&Ends | America v America

It’s November. That means it’s Christmas, right?
The calendar begs to differ.

Dec. 25, the date on the Anglo-Saxon calendar for millions of Christians to formally celebrate the birth of Christ, has swelled into a two-month ordeal. Some would argue that Advent, the days leading up to Christmas when Christians heavily worship and attend church, begins long before the 25.

However, Advent does not explain why Thanksgiving has taken the bullet for consumerism and is now a figurehead for the eminent Black Friday.

What was traditionally celebrated to give thanks and praise God for a bountiful harvest has transformed into a day of abject gorging, familial drama and unnecessary procurement of poorly made Chinese goods.

Black Friday is the day when most Americans begin their holiday shopping. In the past few days, numerous stores such as Target and Sears have announced they will be opening their stores the evening of Thanksgiving “to give the people what they want.”

I applaud retail stores for trying to seem more democratic, but the thin veil of benevolence does not hide the greed that embodies American consumerism, even in this season of love and hope.

This is how I see the whole debacle playing out: Thanksgiving dinner will turn into Thanksgiving brunch, maybe breakfast for some ardent hopefuls. Carving the turkey will turn into a marathon rather than a part of tradition. NFL football, which has dominated post-dinner entertainment for most families, will now compete with Wal-Mart and Target.

Thanksgiving meant leaving behind the trivial and spending time to thank God for food, friends and most importantly, family. With one of the highest standards of living in the world and millions around the world still unable to put a decent meal on the table, Americans tend to take in the high of the season and get caught up in the moment.  Now we think giving thanks one day will make up for a month of pushing others aside to get yourself the last poorly made, but still decent-for-the-price, television or calling in sick for work because you want to skip the lines and go shopping in the middle of the day.

It doesn’t.

By allowing consumerism to infiltrate Thanksgiving, large companies have started a war against American morals. While many blame other factors, the reason why American values are dwindling lies within us. A few extra hours of shopping are not worth trading in our values.



Odds&Ends is a a weekly blog where Op-Ed columnists Maryam Ghaffar and other contributing writers comment on problems plaguing the University, American society and the world. The blog focuses on the moral consequences of decisions that seem minute but have wide repercussions for future generations. It is a place for University students to voice their opinions on important issues facing their generation. This blog covers topics from politics to entertainment, religion to music, the human mind to human nature; the odds and ends of life.