This week, the time devoted to giving thanks for all that we have became a little shorter, and the time devoted to accumulating more stuff grew longer, with the shopping orgy known as Black Friday (a name that seems more apt every year) getting started on Thanksgiving itself. At Macy's, the traditional parade balloons were followed by armed police watching as impatient shoppers, corralled within barricades, waited to get into the company's flagship store. Black Friday brought a slew of bargains coast to coast -- along with shootings, stabbings, various assaults and the trending hashtag #WalmartFights. How did a holiday meant to celebrate what's best in us come to be hijacked by a consumerist frenzy that increasingly showcases our worst impulses? Perhaps next year, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we can officially shoehorn in Reflection Sunday.
I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday of the year, and not just for the food, but for the meaning. I love that I live in a country that at one time decided that we needed to designate a day to appreciate the bounty of our harvests, the kindness of our neighbors, and the riches we receive from the land and each other.