Skipping Thanksgiving: The Newest Holiday Trend
November 23, 2011 4 Comments
“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” -Anonymous
Not only are the decorations coming out earlier, Black Friday deals don’t even start the Friday after Thanksgiving anymore. Retailers, like Amazon, are starting to offer specials as early as the Monday before Thanksgiving. Walmart is opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day this year to try to attract as many brick-and-mortar shoppers before the actual Black Friday event starts.
Has anybody else noticed that the Christmas season seems to start earlier and earlier each year? I noticed that Christmas decorations started to pop up in my local Walmart in mid-October this year. Mid-October! Halloween hadn’t even happened yet…
In the midst of all the commercialized hustle-and-bustle, Americans seem to be forgetting an important holiday: Thanksgiving (you know that holiday that happens between October 31 and December 25). The traditional “First Thanksgiving” in America took place way back in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, when 13 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans gathered for a three-day long feast to give thanks to God for a bountiful harvest in the New World. Thanksgiving became an official national holiday in 1863 by declaration of President Abraham Lincoln. The holiday is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
Why is “skipping” Thanksgiving such a big deal? Many Thanksgivings today are rarely used to practice “thanks giving” anymore but are spent eating lots of food, watching lots of football, and planning Black Friday shopping trips. In a fast-paced, hectic, “always-wanting-more” culture, people (myself included) don’t often take time to give thanks for all the things they have been blessed with. Instead of getting caught up in consumerism this Thanksgiving, take some time to reflect on your life.
Do you realize how much you have that others in the world don’t? If you’re reading this post, it means you have access to an internet-connected computer (unlike 70% of the world population). That computer is powered by electricity in a house, apartment or dorm room (unlike approx. 1.6 billion people). Though you may not like your current job, at least you have one that provides you with a wage of at least $7.25 an hour (80% of world population lives on less than $10 a day). If you get sick or need to see a doctor, you have easy access to a doctor or hospital (unlike 1 billion people in the world). Odds are you also have parents (unlike 16.6 million AIDS orphans in Africa), friends, a mode of transportation, some level of education, food to eat, clean water to drink, the ability to vote for government leaders and actions, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and a relative feeling of safety. Not to mention the miracle that you and I both woke up today!
I won’t bore you with any more things that you and I have to be thankful for, but I would encourage you to not skip the “thanks giving” part of this holiday season. Rather than complaining about what you don’t have, be thankful for all the things you do have.
What are some things that you are thankful for? List them below in the comments.
Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
Learn It. Love It. Live It.
[image credit: Dan DeBold on Flickr]