Have you noticed?
This year Halloween started to fill the stores in September, right after the back to school supply sales. Then just as soon as Halloween was over, the Christmas decorations appeared in the stores. I am not in a lot of stores, but I noticed.
The ads on TV too. I don’t watch a lot of TV but it appears many stores are having Christmas sales this weekend, before “Black Friday.”. Black Friday? That has always gotten under my skin. Who gives thanks one day then goes out just after midnight to trample and wrestle strangers for … Christmas presents?
What is all this about? How did we as a culture get so far from the meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas? I know sociologists, theologians and others have dissected it. I have prayed about it, a little. Mostly I have to check my personal attitude. I find myself being disgusted with a culture that tries to find satisfaction in just about anything except the only one who can give it. The one who made us in HIS image for His glory to rule and reign with Him is the only one who can genuinely satisfy. I believe an attitude of compassion will be more helpful.
Most of us will join with family or friends to eat a big meal. Super markets are heavily advertising Thanksgiving! Even while they are selling lots of Christmas things as shown by my trip to the supermarket today.
For Thanksgiving Turkey is the tradition for most. But how many will actually give thanks before they watch football? Please don’t label me a hypocrite. I like football. It’s when sports supersedes giving thanks I become uneasy. I hope something kids in the schools are learning about the origins of Thanksgiving. Not the disparaging of the puritans as they have been rewritten, but how they came here for religious freedom and many died. How Squanto helped to show them how to farm and that Thanksgiving was the celebration of thanks when they had a harvest.
I hope people will wish others a “Happy Thanksgiving” and not “Happy Turkey Day!”
I am one little voice that will stuff my turkey. Bake a pie the day before and hope my daughter, the master of pumpkin pie in our household, can get home and up in time to bake some pie before the turkey goes in the oven or at least put it in while we eat the turkey.
At my table we will give thanks to the creator and provider of all we have, all we see and every breath we breathe. I will avoid contact with commercialism as much as possible. I will negotiate simplicity where possible. I’d like to think I give thanks every day. Maybe that is why I find the rushing to “Holiday Gifts” off-putting. I give gifts, but do I give of myself? Do the people I love KNOW beyond a doubt that I love them and am there for them? I hope so.
I struggle against the culture of commercialism still. I don’t like what it does to me. I wrestle often to stay free.
I hope and pray we do not lose the practice of actually giving Thanks to God for His care and provision in the mist of all the festivities. Most who read this, I suspect, will easily and often give Thanks. Please join me in praying for those who have lost the meaning of Thanksgiving to find it.
What are you Thankful for this season? How has God blessed or provided for you lately?