Thanksgiving? What Thanksgiving? You’re Just Making Things Up

A CEO wants to make money off of Christmas and decides to gaslight the whole country into getting a head start on holiday preparations—at the expense of Thanksgiving.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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By Jady Lei

Big Corporation LLC has finally launched its successful seasonal collection of Christmas novelties. The company executives, with champagne in their hands, gathered around a television displaying their stock prices. Eagerly, they all waited for it to spike and for money to pour straight into their wallets, bypassing all their employees or whatever they called the stupid little footstools these titans of industry stood upon. 

They waited and waited, but there was no spike.

The CEO was outraged. “What’s happening? Why aren’t we making MONEY? I made our child laborers work overtime for this collection! I had to pay them one chocolate bar apiece!!”

The other executives murmured among themselves. Maybe there was something wrong with the products themselves? But there are always problems with the products. Maybe poor people weren’t being as easily swayed by their shiny marketing? What could it be?

Finally, his CFO replied, “Maybe it’s… too early to be releasing Christmas things? People are preparing for Thanksgiving first…”

The CEO turned around. That was it! “ARRRGGGGHHH! Thanksgiving? That cursed holiday! You know what I hate most about it?”

“How it represents a whitewashed version of American histo—”

“I DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT PART!” the CEO shouted, spilling champagne. “No, it’s cutting into our PROFITS! People are distracted by their dry little tUrKeYs and cRaNbErRy SaUcE and whatnot. They should be giving us MONEY, by preparing for Christmas! The only Thanksgiving I want is these fools GIVING us their money so that I can THANK the pilot of my private jet for picking me up for lunch in Paris. I wish everyone would forget about that stupid holiday…”

The wheels in the executive’s head began turning. Wait a minute, what if he did make everyone forget about it? He was a master advertiser; why couldn’t he de-advertise Thanksgiving and make it fade into nonexistence? What was stopping him?

He turned to his head of Marketing. “I need a new advertising campaign. Not advertising our Christmas products, but de-advertising Thanksgiving. We’ll gaslight all of America into forgetting Thanksgiving, and I—I mean—WE will make MONEY! MWAHAHAHAHA!”

The head of Marketing and his team of underpaid graphic designers and evil psychologists worked throughout the night, and the ad campaign was up the next day. It was simple: red words on a white background, repeating the same three sentences over and over: 




The public was confused, even outraged, at first. They weren’t sheeple! They knew Thanksgiving was real, and they were not going to buy candy canes! Christmas sales went down for a moment, as people avoided them out of spite.

But the CEO waited, and unrelenting messages continued, and people began to waver. Maybe Thanksgiving wasn’t real. Maybe they were sheeple. Maybe it was time to move past Thanksgiving. Slowly at first, then suddenly with great enthusiasm, people bought their Christmas products. Sales were spiking out of control. Stores couldn’t keep products in stock, and the CEO gleefully increased supply. He had succeeded! His advertisement campaign gaslighted the American public into forgetting—wait, what were they forgetting? 

The CEO stopped for a moment. He didn’t remember making this extremely threatening and expensive advertising campaign. Why was he calling his consumers sheeple? They WERE sheeple, but he would never tell them to their faces! Also, why was all his stock in turkey farms and poultry sellers crashing all at once? The Oscar Mayer money was supposed to pay for his sixth private island, and maybe some of his son’s college tuition!

And what was this Thanksgiving thing anyway?