Why Do We Holiday Too Early?

These times of the year are great, but how come we never celebrate holidays when we’re supposed to?

This week’s Featured Charity is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Click this link to learn more and/or to donate.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

111 comments

  1. I’ve always felt more that when the actual holiday comes, sometimes our costumes suck, our presents suck, our decorations suck, or whatever and we feel bad. We feel we were unprepared and we make sorta make a vow to ourselves to be more prepared next time, and that usually translates to allocating more time.
    At least, that’s how i feel.

  2. I worked at a costco where they had christmas and halloween decorations being sold, at the same time, by the middle of August.

  3. Sexy Abe Lincoln … yeah, I’d be down with that. Who else would want to tug on that beard?

  4. I’m in England…Thanksgiving isn’t really a thing 😛

    • In the United States Boxing Day isn’t really a thing. Canada, on the other hand have their own Thanksgiving and Boxing Day.

      • Here in Italy, we don’t have Thanksgiving, but we do have one Italy-only holiday; it’s called the ‘Epiphany’, and it closes the Christmas vacations (L’Epifania, tutte le feste si porta via, The Epiphany takes all the holidays away with it, is a common saying here). It falls on January 6, and it’s similar to Christmas, but in a smaller scale, where an old woman dressed in rags, the Befana (an italian word for ‘Hag’ but less harsh) who flies on a broom and puts candy in good kids’ stockings, and coal in bad kids’.

        Oh, and there’s also the Carnevale, in mid february, but you already know about that.

        • Epiphany isnt an Italy-only holiday. And yea,the Befana thing is totally italian. I was surprised to see that when I came to Italy
          And we croatians also have Carnevale in Febuary. We have many names for it. My region calls it Maškare
          Thanksgiving is an American only thing
          ~sincerilely a Croat in Italy
          PS
          Scusa,io non parlo bene l’italiano. E mia terza lingua e mia tastiera non ho e con apostrofo

        • Epiphany is also celebrated in Latin American countries, New Orleans (tied to Mardi Gras), and many other places. It’s not big in the US because the US is heavily Protestant, and due to excessive commercialism, people tend to burn out on Christmas by the 25th and just want it over. Me, I try to continue saying “Merry Christmas” at least until Jan 5.

          • Epiphany is also celebrated in Russia and I believe Serbia to. And to them,I think epiphany is a bigger thing then xmas.
            Heh,dont quote me on that.

            But anyway,its a shame christmas and other hollidays are pushed to us sooner and sooner due to stores,commercials and big businusses….

  5. ah don’t complain about it Doug, our holidays getting also early and it is because the marketing. but it getting well annoying that even UN complain about our traditions while even yours traditions same racisme like ours but that is not complain about it.

    yes i do have my childhood memories about it and those are good. but now it is racisme and i feel sorry for next generations of kids….

    how ever i feel always awkward for materials and the food it starts in augustus while we celebrate on third weekend of november… so yeah it is weird…

  6. I think the reason Thanksgiving has fallen by the wayside is because it’s pretty much just about being with your family, and many people don’t get along with their families. Thanksgiving might be more popular if people could let their petty differences go for a day, but so many of us up our own asses with “I’m right and you’re wrong,” that Thanksgiving has basically turned into, “Having to listen to my asshole father and my cunt mother beat me over the head with everything they feel I’m doing wrong with my life.”

    • Don’t forget that crazy person in the family that turns up and starts making either racist, sexist or whatever remarks and ruins it for everyone.

      • Or the relative that thinks he/she’s hilarious by saying mean things as a form of “teasing” or just lacking tact in general that nobody wants to correct or put in their place, so everything gets super awkward until they leave.

      • Well since about 14 of my grandparents/ parents siblings died over that past 2 years, Thanksgiving could be depressing for my family since the gathering indirectly becomes a head count of who’s no longer here.

  7. That’s he fiste time you do a “Critic” on Nostalgia and not a nostalgic movie… this video feels weird.

  8. I used to work in retail and as a on call janitor for retail stores and I still find it ridiculous that Thanksgiving is looked over most of the time. Halloween and Christmas were always my most dreaded times of year. Especially cleaning puke off the floor. Nobody really gave a crap about Thanksgiving because all of the stores I worked in would put up their Christmas stuff right after Halloween!

    Um, there is a holiday in between Halloween and Christmas!

    Coming from a Mexican family, we celebrate EVERYTHING, so Thanksgiving gets the rightful attention it deserves. I would always ask my parents how come we weren’t putting up our Christmas decorations in Nov like all the other families and they said “Because we still have Thanksgiving”.

    Great editorial like always, Doug and glad you tackled this subject. You ain’t seeing ANY Christmas decorations in me or my family’s household till AFTER Thanksgiving.

    • I used to work at a supermarket, and the day after Thanksgiving was awesome! The place was always a ghost town, because people were still eating leftovers, recovering from Thanksgiving, or avoiding the Black Friday crowds, which often resulted in my local mall being a ghost town, too, and those that did go shopping were often still hopped up on Tryptophan, so they would occasionally forget things in their carts(I was a carriage attendant) which I got to take home. One time, someone left a fairly expensive steak in their cart, and, it being late November, it was cold enough that I could just leave it somewhere I could pick it up as I headed home after my shift.

      • Hahaha! Lucky you!

        I never got the chance to get a free frozen steak… I cleaned up steak chunks off the floor once from some kid’s puke..

        The cleaning company I used to be a janitor for would send me out to department stores after the Black Friday and Christmas rushes. It was like a tornado ravaged the entire store and I had a midnight to 8am shift. Those were the days…

  9. I think stores are the ones forcing the whole earlier and earlier thing for one reason – money. It’s no longer about God or whatever. It’s about money money money.

    And that’s why I don’t have any Christmas spirit anymore.

    I work on learning Christmas songs in case I get asked to sing some. But unless I’m actually performing them I dread doing them. (On stage it’s a different matter. I love performing so damn much it’s about the only time I have real Christmas spirit.)

    I’m so burnt out otherwise I want nothing really to do with Christmas. Cause all I can see everywhere is misery and greed.

    • No offense, but you kinda sound like Charlie Brown in how consumerism killed your Christmas spirit. Yeah, I hate months leading up to christmas, too, but when the actual day comes and i get to spend all that joyous time with my family (except for the relatives on my dad’s side who drive me nuts), it fills me with so much happiness and cheer. Yes consumerism sucks, but nothing can kill my christmas spirit when the actual day arrives.

      • Certain members of my own family are so greedy it’s hard for me to enjoy it in that sense too. They just want the most expensive gifts they can get people to buy them rather than being together.

        I have a feeling once our parents are dead and no longer there to buy gifts, my brothers won’t be interested in spending Christmas together anymore. At least one of them won’t and I doubt his wife will be interested too. Maybe once my nieces and nephews start having their own kids I’ll feel a little better. But who knows when or if that’ll happen?

        I swear it’s like the set up of one of those feel good Christmas movies, but instead it’s real life.

      • This is me but the opposite. I absolutely loathe my entire family and want to spend less time with them. That and being Jewish it was never a thing anyway, and Hanukkah is a weak-sauce replacement.

    • Christmas isn’t about God to me. Neither is Christmas spirit. Who cares what the companies do? They try to make money all year round, this isn’t anything new nor is it a sign of the decay of Christmas values. Businesses’ business is none of our business save with ensuring we can afford to buy the books, movies and toys that make our loved ones smile. Let the businesses keep Christmas in their own way, and feel free to keep it in yours.

      • Except I remember a time when businesses were all like Nordstrom’s – no Christmas decorations, commercials, or music until the day after Thanksgiving. Now you can walk into a store on October 4th and find singing artificial Christmas trees out front and Halloween stuff way in the back. It’s depressing.

        No matter if you’re Pagan or Christian, Christmas is a religious holiday. It shouldn’t be about gifts but about feeling a close connection to your God/Goddess, your soul, and your family. Gifts should be a secondary concern and given as an expression of love and understanding. Even if all you give is a gift card so long as it’s for a store you know the receiver loves to shop at rather than one you love but they hate, no matter if it’s $5 or $500, it shows that you know them well. But we should be happy to be together even with no gifts other than shared company and maybe homemade cookies.

        Now don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy getting gifts. Especially if someone gets me something I’d love to buy myself but held off because I felt it was too frivolous. As I always try to do for them. But it just shouldn’t be about the gifts and stores need to back off and understand that.

        I could understand it if Christmas was early in the month like Valentine’s Day is – you basically have to start pushing it mid-January because February 14th comes so fast. But Christmas is so far down the calendar it doesn’t need to be pushed until after Thanksgiving.

        With the exception of materials for craft projects which can takes if not months to complete I see no reason to sell anything Christmas related until after Thanksgiving. One holiday at a time.

  10. You think Christmas themed merchandise starts too early?
    Try Germany. No Thanksgiving. Hardly any Halloween. There is nothing to stop Christmas from conquering and the first Christmas cookies hit the shelves of our major chains in late September! And not just in some obscure corner for hardcore Christmas fans or early-birds but in places of high visibility. They actually expected us to buy them … 3 months ahead of time.

    • Don’t the Germans dress up in monks’ robes, carry hammers, and nail papers to doors on Halloween?

      Seriously, though, what about Oktobeerfest? That was a pretty big thing when I was there.

      • What? No…at least not where I life. There it USED to be a very meditative day, one at which you think of your death loved ones and perhaps put a candle on their grave. That naturally went out of the window when the neighbourhood children started to ring the door to requests sweet, influenced by the American media.

        The Oktoberfest is a local celebration which will mostly be ignored outside of Bavaria. The last feast before Advent starts is for St Martin (which happens to be this week), on which we remember the virtue of charity.

        But, yeah, we actually do have the first Christmas related products on the shelves in September at this point. To be fair, though, there was a time at which preparations for Christmas started in the summer. People used to fill up their storage all year so that they could have a great feast in the winter.

  11. I have certainly noticed the “holidays start earlier” bit. The reason it disappoints me is that by the time we actually /get to/ the holiday, it feels so overdone, we don’t care about it as much anymore. “Oh thank god, Christmas is already here. We’ve been celebrating for two goddamn months now!” It makes the holiday feel like a long-sought-after finish line that we crawl across with our last breath, rather than celebrating that it’s finally here. We’re burned out and tired of all the various whatnots that it’s just good that it’s over. As such, usually the day after any holiday, we’ve already forgotten what we did and have moved on to the next. I know Christmas is the “big offender” in the list, but the same can be said for other holidays, though to a lesser extent. I remember posting a photo on Facebook in late August when the first Halloween candy showed up in my grocery store.

    So yeah, that’s the thing that bugs me. November 1st or December 26th or February 15th or whatever rolls around and the holiday we just celebrated is dead and gone and “good riddance because we were so damn tired of hearing about it.” You’ll catch almost as much grief playing a Christmas carol on the day after Christmas as you will if you play it in October.

  12. Aww, i thought there was gonna be commercials this week 🙁

    • i was expecting same thing because he had that t-shirt at end of last week’s video. You know, that The Simpson’s t-shirt that he wears during commercial episodes.

  13. THE CINEMATIC MIND

    I must say Nostalgia Critic’s Thumbnail is creepy as hell! 🙁

  14. To be fair Christmas is basically 25th December because there was suitable Pagan holiday in Europe to adapt as Christian tradition rather than it being actual day that Jesus was born based on Bible. Besides current Christmas is pretty much commercial holiday that resolves around buying things with only some people caring about spiritual side and message of love and peace.

    • Ah, so Christmas is similar to Hallowe’en/Samhain in that Chrstianity sort of… “absorbed” the holiday as their own too, eh? Interesting, though I’m not surprised.

      I wish all the people bitching about those Starbucks cups would take heed of your note about caring about love and peace instead of its commercialism aspect.

  15. HAPPY HOLIDAY CLUSTERFUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. THE CINEMATIC MIND

    Black Friday is a commercial apocalypse in the U.K recently even though we mostly never celebrate Thanksgiving!

  17. Sweetest Day > Valentine’s Day

  18. Christmas build up starts at December 1st, no earlier, but later if you like. Fuck early holidays.

  19. For this years Disneycember, can please review the 2D animated sequels, prequels, and inbetweenquels Disney movies? Also 2 years or 3 years ago when you reviewed 3D animated Disney movies, you missed one movie. You forgot Valiant. Can you please review Valiant as well?

  20. I feel like Thanksgiving is a little better more than Christmas, here me out, but I think it is because that you don’t really need presents on Thanksgiving for it to be awesome. We just want our families and friends. We want that on Christmas, but you only care about presents. And people are getting a little too materialistic.

  21. I remember a time going into my local K-Mart on the first week of September & they had their Halloween stuff up., from costumes to candies to decorations., they even had Halloween-themed DVD., they was also one time my local K-Mart had Halloween Stuff on one end and Christmas Stuff on the other end., so I understand what your getting at.,,.

  22. I also hate it when TV channels start playing their Christmas movies well before Thanksgiving; I’m looking at you, Hallmark Channel. At least ABC Family has their 25 Days of Christmas lineup (but they still have their COUNTDOWN to 25 Days of Christmas).

    I celebrate Halloween throughout the month of October (just as Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness and Longbox of the Damned do), I celebrate Thanksgiving on November, and i celebrate Christmas from Black Friday to Christmas Day; nowhere earlier than the stores and TV channels.

    Also, I’m one of those normal people who spend Thanksgiving with family and loved ones, and NOT go down to the store and wait in life well after we had the feast. My family and I always plan on shopping ON Black Friday during the afternoon when the rush has passed.

  23. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Yeah people are obsessed with holidays and holidaying the hell put of it (except saint pattys day) but i hate it when stores and companys pull the crap where they pull holiday decorations way before another holiday has passed but probably start making plans for it on tne day afyer another holiday is over but holidays have ther special stuff like every halloween once a year they pull out the count chocula,boo berry,and franken berry cereals and i cant really name anything for christmas so if anybody can name dom3thing for christmas or any holidays below that would be nice?

    I also like hkw you mentiond that people celebrate what anime or stuff they like(like some jerk with a camera and doing the stuff he likes and hates at theme parks). Heck even in the internet reviewing universe people do stuff they like and topics they like to talk about like you doug with nostalgia and more people(like with video game,movie,anime reviewers and etc.)

  24. It’s worth noting Thanksgiving was moved in the Great Depression to give more time for the commercial aspect of Christmas to help boost the economy.

  25. First, for people who love to hate on Christmas because it is overdone, increasingly ALL holidays are overdone. I saw many stores with Halloween stuff already out in August (even some Christmas stuff). Just a couple of weeks after school had let out for the summer I saw numerous back to school promotions! But here’s a secret, I’ve worked 20 years in retail and marketing, including management, they wouldn’t be putting out this stuff so early if we weren’t buying, so stop buying (you know who your are). Money talks, as does the absence of.

    Christmas is pushed the hardest but I still love Christmas, it is my favorite time of the year! It helps that I’ve never been one to hang out in malls and shop till I drop. (Not all of us gals love to shop.) This makes it a lot easier to ignore the hype. I also haven’t owned a TV since January 2009. Not owning one has freed up so much of my time and spared me so much of the over commercialization in our culture. Another secret, overindulging in the ideal of these holidays will not make up for the lack of meaning, connectedness, direction or order in your life nor will these false images fix a broken relationship or heal past hurts. Only truly, and correctly addressing these issues, with support and given time will do that. More stuff and busyness will only burden more.

    My parents also raised us keeping the holidays simple and now grown, my siblings and I basically continue to do so. Gift giving is reserved for the kids, my siblings and I don’t exchange gifts. On Christmas we get together and watch to kids open their gifts, share a simple turkey dinner then play board games while A Christmas Story plays in the background.

    You don’t have to go into debt buying gifts, you don’t have to give everyone/or anyone a gift, or an explanation. You don’t have to accept every invite (I only go to 1 or 2 a season). You don’t have to give out candy at Halloween or go all out decorating your house, or at all. You don’t have to go to the mall but if you do shop for Christmas, don’t leave it to the last minute. You don’t have to play host if you don’t want to. You do not have to spend the holidays with people you don’t want too, especially if they are abusive (that includes family). Don’t kill yourself trying to live up to some stupid marketing ideal and don’t allow yourself, or anyone else, make you feel guilty about it either.

  26. Its crazy how much influence and control we allow retailers and marketers over out lives. They sell something to us as some time honored tradition and we just take their word at it and give them our money or stress because we cannot afford it.

    Take the wedding engagement ring, the diamond industry created the whole notion of the diamond engagement ring and even the recommended price of two months salary in the early 20th century when the price of diamonds began to drop as rich mines were discovered in Africa flooding the market with diamonds, the rare gem no longer being quite so rare. Santa and much of our Christmas traditions also marketing gimmicks from the late 19th/early 20th century. The white wedding dress came into fashion after Queen Victoria’s jubilee celebration and most wedding reception expectations from those of the elite put forth in Hollywood and magazines in the 20th century.

    Halloween is hardly recognized anywhere, if at all, outside of Canada and the U.S. (this despite it originating in Europe). Even in the U.S. our modern association with trick or treating didn’t really come into being until the early 20th century.

    Find it too much, just say no. Some people will judge but haters gonna hate. Many may be (secretively) envious. Don’t feel guilt and you owe no one an explanation. My own life changes very little during any holiday season. But I still enjoy the holidays very much. Maybe because I don’t allow them to interfere with my everyday life much.

  27. At the local Sprouts supermarket, they had Christmas stuff practically parallel to the last minutes Halloween stuff the day before Halloween. Seriously, could they not wait 48 hours to bring out all the Christmas sweets and dry ingredients? Is there even a market for Pannetone before Halloween?

  28. I agree with this editorial, but, was kind of expecting it to open with an apology for the Hocus Pocus un-review, like happened after the Bart’s Nightmare LP. The skits are funny in small doses, but, really, I think the reaction to Demo Reel should have hinted we don’t want the whole thing to be Doug and Co. running around in costume, even when they are funny. We watch for the reviews. MANY people theorize it’s for the copyright BS, but, seriously, there have been NC videos flagged before, and they always come back soon.

  29. As a person from Northern Europe I just want to add one thing: I never “got” Thanksgiving.

    I got Halloween, even though we didn’t celebrate it here (it has popped up in later years). I got the lure of horror and the dark side and the macabre. Hell, I was a fan of Addams family from a young age.

    But I never got the deal with Thanksgiving.
    Maybe it’s because it didn’t have any iconic symbol (except for the turkey) or special tradition besides a family meal with a special dish.
    I mean, look at all the other holidays and all the iconography associated with them:

    Easter: Spring, Easter Bunny, Easter Eggs (Hell, in Northern Europe we also have witches (Or Easterhags as they are also known (rought translation)) since Easter was thought to be a witches sabbath), special food, Lots of iconic stuff beside JC of course.

    Midsummer: Maypole, sometimes fire, special food, pick seven flowers that you’ll put under your pillow to dream about who you’re gonna marry. Midnight skinny-dipping in a nearby lake. A lot of traditions.

    Christmas: Where to start? Santa, Rudolph, Grinch, From All of Us to All of You, Charles Dickens, Carols upon carols upon carols, special food, presents, christmas cards. Oh, and that manger with that baby Carpenter.

    But Thanksgiving? The only “tradition” is a family gathering and a special kind of food. Something you do at every other holiday, so there was nothing “special” about it. At least for me from an outsiders perspective.

    So seeing Thanksgiving “go” doesn’t feel odd to me, if you know what I’m saying? Not trying to diss the holiday or anything just show you an outsiders perspective.

  30. GreatestLatinoGüeyEver

    I have a friend who is a Native American who lives in an Indian reservation who doesn’t like Thanksgiving a whole lot because… You know.

    • Yeah, figured that might be another reason that holiday is kind of being “forgotten”.
      There’s probably a lot of people, not just natives, who simply feel uncomfortable celebrating it.

    • It’s a shame people think that IMO, since the holiday is about celebrating the one time they actually came together in peace, not the extermination of Native Americans. I actually like Thanksgiving over Christmas because it is actually about spending time with family and friends instead of what awesome gifts you are gonna get.

      As for why Thanksgiving is not as celebrated as Halloween or Christmas I think is because there is not much to sell from it. Maybe some decorations but by then XMAS is around the corner so people start decorating for that instead. There aren’t big profits associated with it aside from Black Friday, and even then people are skipping the holiday just to camp outside Best Buy instead of staying with the family.

      • Kind of like what I said, too. (About why Thanksgiving isn’t that big).
        I guess, like with many things, there’s not one reason but many.

        So, the 3 possible, and quite likely, reasons we have deduced so far (besides Dougs hypothesis):

        1. Nothing “special” about the holiday that sets it apart.
        Dinner with family. You get that around Christmas and Easter as well.
        No “special” mascot, movies (except one), songs or decorations.

        2. The Comercial Aspect
        Kind of fits with the “nothing special” aspect.
        It’s easier for stores to sell you things during the other holidays. Candy, flowers and cards (and jewels if you’re a rich bastard) on Valentine. Candy, Easter Eggs and decorations for Easter. Pumpkins, Candy (again), Scary outfits, Horror movies and decorations for Halloween and Christmas has, well, candy and decorations too but also food, trees, movies, music, gifts etc.
        And we all now the real power isn’t magic, it’s Money! (To paraphrase Dr. Facilier).

        3. Unease because of the Native angle.
        The treatment of Native Americans is a touchy subject in the US.
        Even though, like didaz commented, Thanksgiving was one time the Natives and the Settlers came together in peace and harmony. I guess it’s still touchy so some people don’t want to mention it, just to be on the “safe” side.

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