When it comes to holidays usurped by consumerism and with a backstory that begins to border on mythology rather than history, Thanksgiving is one towards the top of the list. These days, I try to take what I can from holidays without getting involved in any controversy. For me, Thanksgiving gives me a chance to spend time with family I don’t normally see, as we are separated by thousands of miles during the rest of the year.
My family has always been very supportive of me, allowing me to create my own path for myself. It’s been a strange path, and I could probably use some assistance from a GPS device, but it’s the journey that counts. I’m thankful for my family, my health, my friends, and very little else matters.
All day tomorrow I’ll be traveling back to the east coast. That significantly reduces my chances of buying unneeded stuff on “Black Friday.” The season for extreme consumerism has all ready begun, and I’ve seen that in the commercials on television. They seem louder, more repetitive and incredibly obnoxious. You can’t avoid them even with a digital video recorder. Yes, you can fast forward through commercials, but it seems like product placement is everywhere. I can’t believe the networks even allow actual commercials to appear on the bottom half of the screen during the show. (Actually, I can believe it — what better way to find more opportunities for advertising income — but as a viewer, it’s just disgusting.)
I need to turn off the television more often.
At least tomorrow’s six-hour flight will provide me some respite from retail and media influence.
Published or updated November 22, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.