Take back Thanksgiving

A year ago, Doug Matthews had had it. The New York insurance executive saw Halloween candy displays immediately turned to Christmas candy displays. Santa Claus was showing up at malls in mid-November, along with Christmas music. What, he wondered, had happened to Thanksgiving?

Take the pledge has embedded the pledge above, so you can join
the Respect the Bird club and enjoy your Thanksgiving.

You can also join the Twitter feed at:

@respectthebird, #RTB or #SaveThanksgiving

“Thanksgiving is a day that is really meant for family,” Matthews says. “It’s not a day that requires presents or cards. It’s a day to be thankful for what you have and what your family has.”

That seemingly unAmerican, anti-marketing sentiment turned into a blog post which Matthews posted on And that turned into a movement.

“When Doug wrote that blog post, there were hundreds and hundreds of comments immediately,” says Stephanie Robinett, director of communications at

From that came, where over 3,000 people so far have taken a pledge to not shop or decorate their houses or buy a tree or indulge in any other Christmas tradition until Thanksgiving is over.

“We’re not saying don’t enjoy the next holiday, says Robinett, “but give Thanksgiving its due.”

For Matthews, the call is even more urgent that last year. He’s never gone Black Friday shopping in his life, but he’s increasingly dismayed by how many stores will be open ON Thanksgiving.

“You almost have Black Thursday now,” he says. “Think about all those people who work in those stores – it’s almost like Thanksgiving breakfast, then they have to go to work. That’s not a holiday.”

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