Are we like raccoons who can’t ignore bright shiny things?

Published 5:26 pm Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holy cow, what was that?

Oh, that’s right: Thanksgiving. I nearly missed it drowned out by the Christmas music playing since Halloween and the bombardment of holiday commercials on television.

(I particularly like the ones that show a lucky country club wife receiving an expensive, German, imported car, complete with enormous red bow, parked in the driveway of their enormous home.)

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What I would give simply for new seat covers.

But Thanksgiving has gone and once again I have watched the news, bemused, at people who, only hours earlier, sat down with family to give somber thanks for all that they have, elbow, pummel and curse anyone who might be in their way as they bolted through the doors of stores in a frantic scramble to get even more.

I have several friends who are disgusted with the big box stores (this column would become too long for print if I listed them all) for opening on Thanksgiving Day, citing these corporate giants as responsible for overworking their employees who aren’t paid a living wage in the first place.

Walmart managers, in return, fire back that in several stores they have asked Walmart employees to donate foodstuffs and place them in the bins for…

…other Walmart employees, so that they might be able to have a Thanksgiving meal as well- sometime around 30th, or whenever their next day off arrives.

Don’t that just warm the cockles of your heart?

“Commercialism has ruined Christmas!” more than one person has fumed. “These stores, opening on Thanksgiving and enticing people in with huge savings are to blame!”

Really? I don’t think so.

I mean, what are we, raccoons? Do you mean to tell me that we are so compulsive that we cannot resist the lure of shiny objects dangled before our flaring nostrils? That we are powerless against the gravitational pull of another expresso machine that will be used twice before crammed into the closet beneath the stairs next to the unopened fondue set?

There’s only one way for the bony finger of “you’re ruining Christmas” judgment to be pointed and that’s at us. We’re not being chased down by dog catchers, nets thrown over us and dragged into JC Penney. Macy’s hasn’t served us with papers obliging our presence at midnight.

There’s absolutely no acceptable argument for joining the hordes of people lined up in the dark, stamping their feet to get feeling back into their numbed toes when you could be spending hours and hours of quality time with your extended family at your brother-in-law’s in Cleveland.

Wait a minute… Suddenly, everything makes sense.