Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Isn't Cool

Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the USA.  It began as a day that we were to celebrate with our fellow Americans and remember to be thankful for our fruitful land, the harvest, the end of World Wars.  A day set aside for family, food, togetherness and remembrance of our blessings.  But somewhere along the way, Thanksgiving has been hijacked in to the prequel of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa--the holiday gift giving and Olympic shopping season.

For weeks already we have been seeing Holiday commercials on TV, Holiday lights going up in our neighborhoods, Holiday songs being played on our radios.  Also, we have been assaulted by the endless chatter about BLACK Friday shopping hours and Cyber Monday deals, and retailers deciding to move hours up and open on Thanksgiving night.--even McDonalds is open on Thanksgiving.

The only thing I can conclude from all of this madness is that being Thankful isn't cool anymore.  Cool is racing out to the mall to buy more stuff that you don't need and can't afford.  Cool is fighting the crowds at the 8PM Doorbuster Sale to buy another sweater or TV that you just can't live without.  Cool is going out for Thanksgiving dinner so you don't have to deal with the mess of dishes and you can get out shopping sooner.  Who cares that the people at the restaurant can't celebrate a quiet, simple Thanksgiving with their families.  That doesn't matter anyway.  And we might get hungry while on our way to the mall, so thank God we can grab a Big Mac if we need one!

I know I am sounding preachy, but I simply can't help myself.  I am pleading with all of you.  Enjoy your families on Thanksgiving.  Cook a meal at home and sit down and eat it together.  Don't stress that it is too hard to do.  Keep it simple.  Do what you can.  Invite people over to help you and share the day.  Be thankful for the people in your life that love you.  Be thankful for the food you prepare.  Give thanks for your children.  Play with them.  Take a walk. Watch a movie.  Tell stories. Look at old photos.  How can you expect your children to understand gratitude if you don't display it?  Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to illustrate to children how important it is to focus on the simple things in life and to be grateful.  At a minimum Thanksgiving encourages "glass half full" thinking--or best case "cup runneth over!".

To me, Thanksgiving is the best of all of the holidays.  It emphasizes things we already have, family, friends, food, fun.  Don't let the media mongers twist your focus to the next holiday.  Simply enjoy this one.  Let's all stand up and make Thanksgiving cool once again!


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