Where is the Thanks Giving in Thanksgiving?


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Thanksgiving is a time to feast with family and friends and bond.

Thanksgiving is smack dab in the middle of the holiday season. It falls between the two holidays most driven by consumerism and some could say that this day of thanks comes at just the right time.

Putting a pause on all the hustle and bustle is a key part of my holiday season. With all the activity that comes during Halloween, it is nice to take a moment to recharge before the even busier holidays to come. I refuse to begin Christmas shopping until Thanksgiving passes because I feel that it is disrespectful to the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday.

It seems wrong to go from begging for candy on Halloween straight to begging for Christmas gifts the very next day. The part of the season meant for reflection and appreciation is becoming overshadowed by corporate ploys that prey on consumerists’ need to find the best bargains to be the “winners” of the holidays.

Retail establishments begin rolling out the Christmas decor on Nov. 1 while Thanksgiving decor is already in the bargain bins. Throw in Black Friday and retailers dealing out savings long before that day and the holiday meant for giving thanks has now become a battle planning day for those willing to brave the trenches of shopping madness the next day.

According to the National Retail Federation, 59 percent of consumers said they will wait until November to start Christmas shopping. That means the focus of the month shifts from giving thanks to getting the best deals before anyone else.

Money is the real reason for this season, unfortunately. There is always a search for more. Children’s christmas lists get longer each year and parents go crazy trying to make that list a reality. The biggest, best, most expensive product is the only way to conquer the holidays. That is where the real problem lies.

The reality is, there is so much more to this season than your kid having the newest LEGO model or Barbie doll. The holidays are not to be conquered. It is about spending time with those that mean the most and unplugging to ensure that the quality time spent with them is indeed that.

A time that was once utilized to reflect on all that one has been blessed with in the year is now tainted with greed and materialism. People believe that sitting down to the meal at all is the act of giving thanks, but what they fail to realize is that the meal is the conduit that brings the family together. It is up to each individual to understand the blessings that their lives have given them and appreciate the little things that they’d normally take for granted.

Thanksgiving brings about an attitude that many lose sight of throughout the year. When people are thankful for what they have the overall attitude of the season changes. Realizing that one has everything needed to live a happy, healthy life is key for combatting the consumerist nature of the holidays. Instead of letting the best deals reign supreme this season, let gratitude ring this season.