A lot of turkeys and trimmings are eaten to celebrate Thanksgiving, with sports and shopping galore. But what is Thanksgiving all about?
Originally, this day was rooted in want. It fostered an attitude of genuine gratitude for life’s simpler blessings of adequate food, clothing, and shelter. The day also involved sharing those blessings with others less fortunate. Thanksgiving was more than a day.
From these humble beginnings, Thanksgiving has evolved into a frenetic free-for-all whose genesis starts months before the turkeys and pumpkins are carved. We hear and feel the marketing blitz leading up to Halloween—then three more weeks of marketing. There is a short pause—we hear about “Turkey Day.”
We also survive the all-day barrage of ads pounding us into submission, preparing for the assault. That night, memories of Thanksgiving are slowly obliterated as armies of shoppers mobilize, braving the elements, armed with credit cards, coupons, and attitude.
The next morning before dawn, Black Friday officially kicks off the Christmas shopping season. Cartoonists and commentators have astutely suggested that Thanksgiving has become little more than a blip in the holiday season beginning with Halloween and lasting through New Year’s. Is this what Thanksgiving is all about: human beings reduced to the average dollar amount spent? No—a thousand times, No!!
Thanksgiving is more than the Pilgrims; more than an American autumn festival; more than an annual paid holiday from work, more than sports and shopping and feasting; it is far more than a holiday narrowly framed by a specific country. Rather, Thanksgiving is a mindset and a way of life!
Regardless of culture or season, as fellow citizens of planet Earth, we can all make the world a little better by embracing and living the principle of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is good for all of us!
This year, as you enjoy a fine meal with family or friends, we hope you have a wonderful holiday. Hug your family; value your friends; enjoy fine food; and cheer on your favorite team.
But remember, it is not Turkey Day. Please pause to be grateful for the abundance we all enjoy in this great land and practice Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is more than a day. It is a noble way of life we can aspire to.