I really feel sorry for Thanksgiving. Once Halloween has come and gone, there is a short amount of time before Thanksgiving arrives. A couple of weeks of grocery store sales on turkeys and trimmings is all you might really notice about the holiday. People may speak about where they’re going to spend the day, but before it even arrives, it’s overshadowed by the approaching Christmas season.
Thanksgiving is almost like the middle child. It deserves more attention for all the good that it represents, but the beautiful, more attractive Christmas season casts a shadow over this short holiday. Black Friday sale announcements start earlier every year, and more department stores are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. What a tragedy that retail profit is trumping family time! But the hurriedness and excitement of it all seems to just shrug it shoulders at Thanksgiving.
I once went to Target on Thanksgiving night with my husband. We thought we were really going to grab some great deals. Problem ended up being that we were grabbed; physically. Do you really want to know what kind of people show up on Thanksgiving night at some of these stores? Our experience has taught us that they’re not very nice people!
In between picking up scooters and DVDs, I tried to pick out a pair of women’s boots when I was pushed aside. My hair became tangled in some lady’s ( I used the term “lady” loosely) button down jacket, and out of the mass crowd of barbarian shoppers, I saw my husband waving his arms at me. He was signaling that it was time to evacuate. We walked out with a few items and more of a headache. People were shouting at employees for items that had sold out, and let’s just say we would have been better off being at home with family; warm and cozy with a piece of leftover dessert.
Now I have to admit before going further, I love Christmas! It’s my favorite holiday as it seems to be for a lot of people. I love our family decorating the tree, baking goodies, Christmas parties, gift exchanging…singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus…the list goes on. It’s a cheerful holiday. But what about Thanksgiving?
If you really look at the story behind Thanksgiving, it’s one of danger, uncertainty, faith and survival; much like the times we’re living in I would say. It’s more than just coming together to remember what the Pilgrims did, and passing the gravy. It really becomes more than that. We pause with family and friends and take the time to be grateful and thankful. The only gifts involved with Thanksgiving are those of hospitality, sharing, gratitude, and reflecting on all we have to be thankful.
I remember as a child our family taking the time to talk around our dinner. Each person had fond stories to share of past holidays, and special recollections of family members that had passed on. “Remember Me-Me’s dressing? Hers was the best” coupled with “I miss Granny’s smoked turkey,” and the sayings would continue. Our family would discuss current events, while the older generation would reminisce about how good life used to be. No one would have cell phones out and the television was off. The only thing we would turn the television on for was the Dallas Cowboys game (this was before my Houston Texans came on the scene). Games like trivial pursuit and UNO were pulled out, and no one thought of going out on Thanksgiving night except to watch a movie or take a walk.
So enjoy this holiday. It’s a quick but an important one. Take the time to be thankful, put down the cell phone, and converse with family and friends. Forget about shopping on Thanksgiving night. Those sales will come and go, but your family won’t always be together. Pass the gravy, enjoy the laughter, and DVR those Cowboys!