Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s a time for family gatherings, feasts, a special day set aside to give thanks to God for the abundance of our lives. I was listening yesterday to a radio talk show. The discussion was about the commercialism of Christmas and the fact that retailers are now infringing upon Thanksgiving day to promote Christmas sales. A few years ago, “Black Friday” began very early at some stores which opened at 5:00 a.m. Then some stores decided that wasn’t good enough so they began opening at midnight. This year in an effort to ‘Best’ one another some stores opened at 9:00 PM on Thanksgiving day. The general discussion was about preserving Thanksgiving day as a day of prayer and letting retailers know we are not going to shop on Thanksgiving Day. Stores will not open on Thanksgiving Day if shoppers do not participate. I was amused when one lady called in to say she was going to the sale on Thanksgiving at 9:00 PM because she “has to.” she justified herself by saying the bargains were so amazing that if she did not go she could not give her children the Christmas they deserved. She wished she didn’t have to buy on Thanksgiving day, but the greedy retailers made it impossible not to buy.
Three thoughts jumped out at me. First, what does it mean to be greedy? It’s easy to look at others (the retailers) and accuse them of being greedy, but isn’t this lady a bit greedy too? She wants to get more for her children than she can afford. Isn’t that greedy also?
Second, assuming that you can make children happy by giving them expensive gifts you cannot afford is a false assumption. Happiness is and always will be an inside job. Some of the happiest people on earth don’t have a lot in terms of material assets.
Third, when you say, “I have to” you make yourself a victim. In reality the only thing you “have to” do is take up space. As long as your soul inhabits a body you have no choice but to take up space. Everything else is a choice. You do not “have to” do anything. Accept responsibility for your choices knowing there are consequences you must also accept.
I’m not saying it is wrong for anyone to shop on Thanksgiving day if that is what they want to do. Just recognize the truth of the situation. On the other hand if you think it is important to set aside one day each year as a day of family gatherings, feasting and prayer in thankful appreciation for the bounty we enjoy, then keep it that way and allow others the same privilege.
For now, Earlynn’s just sayin’