- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Once upon a time the Christmas buying season began after Thanksgiving, and that seemed to work out for everybody. Then it began to seep over into November, earlier and earlier, and now we barely get past Halloween before the Christmas sales start.
And then, this year, it seems that Thanksgiving day itself was sacrificed. Perhaps this began a year or two ago and I simply didn’t notice, but now it is hard to miss. It seems that every major chain of stores now starts “Black Friday” on Thursday.
I understand that in a rough economy retail chains are fighting for every dollar, but I wonder if we aren’t sacrificing too much to the almighty dollar. Family life is so terribly busy these days, even the nuclear family, Mom and Dad and their 2.2 kids have trouble sitting down together for a meal. Gathering the extended family together is an almost impossible task.
Thanksgiving has been the one day in the year when almost everyone had a day off. Thanksgiving is really a pretty simple holiday, we just gather with our families and friends to enjoy one another and perhaps, for just a moment, reflect on our blessings. We don’t have to worry about getting the right presents or buying the right costumes, it stays pretty simple.
And I know I am taking a simplistic view, there are always people working on Thanksgiving. But those nurses in the hospitals, those police officers, even those football players were always the exception and not the rule.
Paul tells us that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV). What does all kinds of evil mean? It means that perhaps we can’t see how our desire to make a few extra dollars hurts our families. It means that when we are tempted to sacrifice a few hours with our family so that we can save a few dollars at the local big box store, we give up something precious.
These companies wouldn’t consider opening on Thanksgiving Day if they didn’t know we’d show up, and apparently a lot of people did. They count on our desire to save a buck or two. They count on us cutting our holiday celebration short so that we can shop ‘til we drop.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you were able to share some good times together with your family. But over the next few weeks please remember to put people before presents. Don’t love the money or the presents, love the people who mean so much to you. Toys and gadgets under the tree are cold substitutes for the true warmth of family and friends.