Pass me the sweet potatoes… and the Black Friday Ad.
The talk this Thanksgiving is whether or not to shop the Black Friday specials, which have slithered into Thursday, and onto our Thanksgiving table. Passions run high on both sides of the turkey. Some folks can’t pass up a deal and will gladly sacrifice dinner no matter how much it ticks off the hostess. With a voracious lick of their lips, they’ll set down their greasy forks, pat their fat, full bellies, and rush out to grab a spot in line at Best Buy or Walmart. Others have taken offense at the intrusion– nay, the kiss-off, the Thanksgiving Table has endured, and they steadfastly refuse to leave the table or open an ad until midnight, Friday: the moment shopping is supposed to begin. They’ll be singing “Kumbaya” around the free range turkey and praying for America to shed its materialistic skin.
To shop or not to shop. That is the question. If you shop, you’re a selfish, materialistic pig. If you don’t shop, you’re either a tree-hugging idiot abstaining for religious reasons, or you’re just a plain old idiot who doesn’t even know the glorious deals out there for the taking.
Like so many of our holidays, Thanksgiving today wouldn’t recognize itself even a generation ago. It’s inevitable that holidays go through metamorphoses over time and because of changes in our cultural values. But we’re not becoming butterflies. The changes in our holidays aren’t pretty. How did we forget to be thankful for the little things? Food. Life. Freedom. God. A sunrise. A table with plates. A job to hate. Kids to manage. Butterflies.
Rather than questioning whether or not to shop this Thanksgiving, perhaps we should question how to be thankful. Perhaps we should question everything: look at Thanksgiving with fresh eyes and a new perspective. See all that we enjoy and take for granted because we’ve never lacked. I’m willing to be the idiot who misses a Black Friday deal; I’m not religious about Thanksgiving, but I love God and try to love what He loves. I close the ads because I don’t want to open myself to coveting or discontentment on the one day in 365 that’s designated for thankfulness. I lack nothing. Neither do you.
Happy Thanksgiving, 2014