It may only be November but in my hometown, the Christmas season is already in full swing. Houses have been adorned with layers of dazzling Christmas lights. The local craft store is fully stocked with ornaments and scented candles with cheesy holiday-themed names. Yesterday, I even passed a car that was decorated with reindeer antlers and a bright red nose. Everyone seems to be blissfully unaware that we haven't even reached Thanksgiving Day yet.
While I enjoy belting out Christmas carols and drinking eggnog as much as the next girl, I find it alarming that Thanksgiving is being tossed aside so quickly. In a time where we should be reminding ourselves to be thankful, we are greedily counting the days until we can reach the next holiday.
The biggest indicator of this greed is the amount of Black Friday advertisements that can be found on almost every television commercial and around most nearby shopping centers. Black Friday falls on the fourth Friday of November while Thanksgiving, coincidentally, falls on the fourth Thursday. This means that Black Friday always interferes with Thanksgiving. Even though most Black Friday sales technically begin at midnight, many businesses have begun to offer their discounted items on Thanksgiving night. Die-hard Black Friday fans everywhere will be setting down their forks and knives early this year and kissing their relatives goodbye to flock to the nearest store and wait in line in hopes of snagging the next half-price television.
Countless people will rush out to collect more material things this Thanksgiving night -- just hours after practicing the act of being thankful for what they already have. My family has a tradition of going around the table and having each person say what they're thankful for. What I've found is that people most often neglect to mention items. Instead, they say "family" or "friends." This is because Thanksgiving teaches us to appreciate the things we can't buy -- the important aspects of life.
To me, leaving right after that to plunge into long lines with strangers to fight over material possessions is just a bit hypocritical. Thanksgiving is a time to slow down your pace, reflect on your blessings, and reminisce with those who are the most meaningful to you. Why compromise this by rushing out of the door to get a head start on Black Friday shopping?
This holiday season, I urge you to put the Christmas lights and coupon books away for a moment and instead enjoy Thanksgiving and all that it stands for. Joke, laugh and tell stories with your family. Reflect on all of the good things in your life. Make great memories. Sit at the table a little while longer; you may be surprised at what you find. Enjoy the day and don't be too quick to delve into Christmas festivities. After all, Thanksgiving only comes once a year.