Monday, November 2, 2015

On Thanksgiving

Over the last few years, Thanksgiving--once a major American holiday in its own right--has been reduced to the kickoff for Christmas. No longer satisfied with a rush of customers on Black Friday, stores have started opening on Thanksgiving itself in an effort to whip people into a frenzy. The NFL sponsors want the menfolk parked in front of the television to see all the commercials, while the ladies dash out to Wal-Mart et al. for... something, anything at an unbelievably low price.

There has been little backlash, except a few customers choosing not to shop at all at the stores that opened on the holiday. But recently, camping equipment retailer REI announced that it will not open on Black Friday at all, let alone Thanksgiving Day. I say, "More power to them."

It's time to take back a tradition.

Thanksgiving is not the kickoff to Christmas.
Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude for what we already have.
It's peace between neighbors.
It's generosity of native people toward new immigrants.
It's a celebration of the harvest and the security of a season of plenty.

This Thanksgiving, I'm not buying anything.

I won't do any Christmas shopping.
I won't watch live television.
I won't eat at a restaurant or put gas in my car.
I won't do anything reckless that would likely add to the workload of emergency workers.

This Thanksgiving, I will eat, enjoy some company, and be thankful.

And on Black Friday, like the folks at REI, I'll probably go outdoors. Everything I need want to buy can wait until Monday.

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