Standing Up For Thanksgiving Over Black Friday

A table set for Thanksgiving dinnerWhen I was growing up, Thanksgiving was magical in every way. We would pick up Aunt Margaret as dad drove across the winding roads and over the foothills of Southern Ohio. The landscape was beautifully sparse – and brown…lots and lots of brown. Sometimes a delicate layer of snow covered the world, which, in my young mind, was a preview of Christmas. There was barely a car on the road, except other families who were picking up relatives for their own special dinners. There was something “right” about this, about people focusing on what really matters for one day.

American Thanksgiving is coming up tomorrow. Soon, Americans that give little thought to gratitude and blessings in their life will sit down, dine with family and friends, and rest for a change…unless of course they decide to take a cue from corporate America.

Unfortunately, many retailers have decided to start “Black Friday” on Thanksgiving, so Americans can buy things they can’t afford and won’t have time to enjoy a day early. Even though most Americans seem disgusted by these tactics, other businesses will follow suit for fear of losing out on the business.

I am not a curmudgeon at all, but I do believe it is time to reconsider our priorities if we are willing to cut short a day of rest, gratitude, and seeing family and friends, so we can wait in line to get a better deal on cheap crap. I believe we need to stand up and let the businesses know that some things are more important than deals. It would be great if businesses opened on Thanksgiving and nobody showed up.

I honestly believe that people have the right to open their businesses whenever they want, so this is not a plea for a government to step in. This is a plea for sane people to stay home on Thanksgiving and pay attention to what matters. For a few days a year we get a break from the “rat race.” For a few days the world stops and ponders what life is really about. Yet a lot of people don’t have these days anymore.

So, what will children’s memories consist of twenty years from now? Will it be waiting in line with their families to stampede each other, to buy something that will either break in a few years, or else take up space in the basement until it is left to rot in a landfill? Will Thanksgiving be a celebration of God, friends, and gratitude or greed and cheap Chinese crap? Something just seems wrong about this.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett’s writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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