On this most auspicious of holiday weekends, time simply slips away. Between Thanksgiving festivities, football, cleaning the mess, Black Friday shopping, and putting up the Christmas decorations, it’s hard to remember to take a step back from the holiday madness to be thankful for what you have.
Pause this weekend and give thanks to those you love.
The Meaning of Thanksgiving
We all know the story. Pilgrims didn’t have enough food for the winter and Native Americans came along and saved the day. From this Thanksgiving was born.
Centuries later, the holiday has morphed. I remember as a kid, just hearing “Thanksgiving” brought a warm, fuzzy feeling. It signified plentiful food and the coming together of family. It was a time to celebrate what was most important. It was a day to give thanks for everything we had and for the family that surrounded us. It is because of this that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Here is my soap box. I’m about to step on it for a bit. In the last few years (3, if I remember correctly), Christmas has encroached the Thanksgiving Day festivities. I used to enjoy going out at 12am to shop the Black Friday sales. There was a certain thrill (and thrift) to it. Then about three years ago Toy ‘R Us decided that they would test the waters and open on Thanksgiving night to pull in more sales. It was later, like 10pm, but it was still Thanksgiving. This wasn’t so bad because most people were done with their Thanksgiving by that time.
But then it got worse. Other stores realized they got away with it, so the next year it was a competition between Walmart, Target, and Toys ‘R Us to see who couple open sooner. The time was bumped up to 8pm. This year, stores start their sales at 6pm. And I find this completely abhorrent.
Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday, and I refuse to join the masses that enable this sort of atrocious behavior. And I’m not just talking about the trampling, stealing, and harming. I’m talking about the way we let these big corporations get away with this. Why do we bother to spend the day being thankful for what we have, then as soon as we finish eating we rush off to the store, leave family behind, and buy more junk we don’t really need?
This is what our modern Thanksgiving has become. In two or three more years, Thanksgiving will be obsolete. People will forget what they are thankful for completely just to buy more junk. I won’t do it.
Me and my house will remember and celebrate. I vow to never go Thanksgiving Day shopping. Who’s with me?
Stepping down from the soap box now.
Forget the shopping. You don’t need any of that stuff anyway. Instead of rushing off to shop, hustling from place to place, take a step back from the madness and remember what is truly important: family. Why else would you feel the need to forsake them to buy them junk?
Unexpected things happen. We lost my grandmother this year. It makes me even more thankful for what I still have. I don’t need anything stores can sell. I need the people I love around me.
I cannot even begin to give thanks for everything I am Thankful for. Here is a very rough start:
- My parents: Without you I wouldn’t be where I am today (literally and figuratively). You have helped us in ways that we can only repay you with love. And even that isn’t enough.
- My husband’s parents: Without their steady hearts and emotional support, we would lose ourselves in the madness of our lives.
- Our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles: You may not always understand why we do what we do, but you have still supported us and helped us when we needed you.
- Our friends: You guys all are amazing. You help us keep our sanity. You offer us creative ways to de-stress when we need it.
- You: If you are reading this, I thank you. Words are important to me, and the fact that you’re still reading this means you enjoy reading my words. I hope you stick with me in the years to come.
Despite the madness of my life, and of the holiday season, I always find time to pause and give thanks for what I have.
What are you thankful for?