The Christmas Season is twelve days long. Disc jockeys on the radio seem to think that Christmas Day, December 25, is the last day of the Christmas Season, but their eggnog is 80 proof. December 25 is the first day of Christmas and January 5 is the last day.
So, if your true love sends you a partridge, two turtle doves, three French hens, four calling birds, five golden rings, six geese a laying, seven swans a swimming, eight maids a milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords a leaping, eleven pipers piping, and it all arrives by Christmas Eve, your love hasn’t done a google search. The partridge in a pear tree should arrive Christmas Day, the twelve drummers drumming on January 5. (Are you sure you want to marry this person?)
The reason I mention the Twelve Days of Christmas is that the Thanksgiving season now seems to have half that number, six. And just as the first day of Christmas falls on December 25, Christmas Day, the first day of Thanksgiving falls on Thanksgiving Day. Day 2 is Black Friday. Day 3 is Spendthrift Saturday. Day 4 is Slowdown Sunday. Day 5 is Cyborg Monday. And Day 6 is #Giving Tuesday if there is anything left to give.
I’m amused by the signs on certain businesses saying, “Closed Thanksgiving So Our Employees May Spend The Day With Their Families.” Actually, they spend at most only part of the day gathered around the table. Then, because Black Friday has trespassed into Thanksgiving Day, they’re off to shop. In some stores Black Friday is also being observed on Halloween. Shoppers dress up in costumes and look for treats called bargains.
And have you noticed the size of Thanksgiving Day newspapers? They include so many shopping circulars for Black Friday that to avoid a hernia you need a forklift to bring your copy into the house. Coupons, rebates, and Doorbusters. If a store actually closes on Thanksgiving and you get in line outside the door and campout all night long, you are going to get a deal when you “bust through the door” at opening time.
Spendthrift Saturday and Slow-Down Sunday are also big shopping days, especially at the mall across town. The parking lot is still so full of cars that many thieves don’t even bother to go inside the mall. They just help themselves to the loot left in shoppers’ cars. The traffic congestion in the mall parking lot actually interferes with ambulances and paramedics entering and exiting the mall. For by Sunday, shoppers have been at it so long – the old “shop until you drop” syndrome – that they need medical aid before beginning Cyborg Monday on their home computers.
It’s actually called something else, but I call it Cyborg Monday because a cyborg is defined as “a person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical means built into the body.” Attention, Online Shoppers, this is You!!! The detachable computer keyboard built into your fingertips gives you shopping abilities prior generations never imagined.
Then comes #Giving Tuesday, giving to charitable causes. This evidently prefigures the Three Wise Men, who are on their way if they want to make it by Epiphany, which is the day after the Christmas season, always Jan. 6.
All of this makes one wonder. Two-thousand plus years ago, had there been the Six Days of Thanksgiving, would the Wise Men have risen before the star did, traveled to the mall first, and taken a deal on different gifts? I doubt it. Still, it’s something to think about.