Thanksgiving and Black Friday – Two national holidays becoming one feeding frenzy.
Thanksgiving, the once-sacred holiday inspired by the early settlers, Native Americans, and George Foreman, is becoming more and more blurred with the newest national holiday, Black Friday.
Instead of giving thanks for what we have, it’s being morphed into a retail feeding frenzy for what we want, more stuff that looks like stuff we already have, but with an extra gizmo button glued on.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love a bargain, especially if it has some form of video screen and electricity running through it. I also love family, relatives and a great meal! It may be the best meal of the year, and the only meal that I can eat my weight in sweet potatoes saturated with butter and brown sugar. After the Roman indulgence, I pass out on the Lazy Boy while Dallas gets beat with a Detroit drumstick.
It’s a comfort food blitzkrieg. If they drink comfort in the Southern states, we eat it in the north.
Giving thanks for family, food, friends, and basic essentials of life is seemingly not enough. Thanks-to-me-giving means buying a 50-inch flat screen, Keurig coffee maker, five-quart crock pot, and the latest “Hunger Games” DVD. If you can restrain, all this will be priced the same, or less, six months from now.
Even now the stores have gradually backed up their hours to open on Thanksgiving Day and employees are forced to replace family time with separating bargain hounds from fighting over the same bargain bone.
The good news is that after eating 7,000 calories worth of turkey, smashed potatoes and dressing, the average American spends five hours of mad-shopping-aerobics chasing loss-leaders. The bank account sheds even more weight, while the charge card loses plastic after it’s hole punched and hung around the neck with a lanyard for quick swiping. My wife, God bless her, is huddling in long lines at 3 a.m. while its snowing and 17 degrees. I’m in my warm bed sleeping off a food hangover.
A big helping of white snow might take some of the black out of Friday. Well, we are massive consumers, are we not? We eat too much, shop too much, eBay to much, Amazon and Craigslist too much, like some keyboard-cowboy’s ropin’ bargains from the virtual stores and paying with invisible money.
Maybe we need to consume less and give more? Give more of ourselves this holiday season and stockpile acts of giving. The thanks will come back to us by the shopping cart load.
President George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide Thanksgiving celebration in America marking Nov. 26, 1789 “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”
My heart is thankful, and so is my stomach.