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4 Possible Reasons Why Thanksgiving is not as Commercialized

Posted by John Kim on

With the ridiculously priced costumes of Halloween, the way too early Christmas promotions, and even the overabundance of pink candy and roses in February, it seems that these days holidays only exist to make companies money.

But what about Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Cranberry Sauce

While some would point to Black Friday as evidence that Thanksgiving, too, has been commercialized, Black Friday technically is not Thanksgiving (despite the attempts of some stores to merge them together). It is merely the first day on the "countdown to Christmas" since Thanksgiving is the last major holiday before it, and therefore serves as the day when holiday deals can officially go on full blast.

Thanksgiving itself, however, remains relatively quiet, looked over, and almost forgotten in the eyes of most companies, with the exception of turkey farmers and the like.

While there is no clear reason for this, here are several possibilities which may all contribute to Thanksgiving's "non-commercialization." 

 

1. Potential for Commercialization (or Lack Thereof)

Unlike many of the other holidays in the year such as Christmas, Valentine's, and Halloween, Thanksgiving does not have any staple products (except for traditional thanksgiving foods, which is not exactly a retailer's territory). 

The question then becomes whether these staples emerged due to the nature of the holidays, or because retailers and companies pushed them as part of their commercialization. If it is the latter, then there must be other reasons why Thanksgiving was not commercialized..

 

2. Timing and Place in the Year

One such reason could simply be due to its place in the year. Sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas, there simply isn't enough time to generate enough excitement and energy over the holiday when the largest retail season of the year is close behind. Why waste time building up sales and attention for Thanksgiving when there is much more money to be made with early Christmas sales and events.

 

3. Themes and Focus of Thanksgiving

This might be a bit of a stretch, but another possible reason could be that the simple themes and focus of Thanksgiving are not ideal for generating retail sales. While you can debate over the origins and history of Thanksgiving, there is no question that it is celebrated today as a day of thankfulness and family, even more so than most holidays. As a result, retailers may not have much to work with when it comes to commercialization other than the traditional Thanksgiving foods, which are hardly ideal for mass commercialization.

 

4. It is Commercialized, Just Not by The Usual "Companies"

One final possible hypothesis is that Thanksgiving is commercialized in a way, just not by the usual industries. After all, turkey farmers make their killing (pun intended) at this time of year, and supermarkets and grocery stores push all kinds of thanksgiving seasonal foods and deals. Of course, this then depends on what your definition of "commercialization" really is, as it is most often associated with the hubbub and activity of retail stores and all of their counterparts. 

 

In the end, while we can speculate as to the reasons why it is so, the fact is that Thanksgiving really sets itself apart from the rest of the year in the way that it draws the focus to a different kind of value (although Black Friday may continue to encroach on that).

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend, whether you're spending time with family, hunting for deals, out early and working hard, or relaxing at home, we hope you find what you're looking for. 


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