Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on everything good you have been blessed to have and experience. And it is a time to focus on the future with a thankful spirit. But Thanksgiving, and its important message, has been overshadowed by greed.
People want more stuff. Shopping malls and stores want more money. And even while folks are still eating their Thanksgiving dinner the conversations turn to what they will shop for.
Stores open on Thanksgiving Day in most places now. Many employees are not allowed to take any time off over Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. Shoppers fight and steal and hurt each other over "deals" that can be found later or even during the year online. There is a disturbing trend of entitlement that is so very ugly.
I'm not against shopping and searching for bargains but when getting stuff overshadows healthy and beautiful moments of being with family, friends, and a healthy outlook on life... well... I just don't believe that any materialistic bargain is worth its price.
And I think another issue, that is a bit less obvious, is that everyone is always in such a rush these days. Even before Thanksgiving arrives stores are pushing Christmas. Can we just... enjoy one holiday and relish in its uniqueness and beauty for a bit? And instead of having to buy all the stuff to properly celebrate a given holiday, can we simply be thankful that we're able to celebrate at all?
Perhaps some new traditions should be encouraged such as: helping to feed the homeless, or spending some time with elderly at a nursing home, or writing a letter to someone you haven't reached out to in a long while.
There are very thoughtful, meaningful things we can all be doing that don't require money. Or if money is required it isn't spent on something that has little to no meaning.
Memories and experiences are what matter to people most. They won't remember something you bought them when its obsolete in a year or so. But they will remember your attitude and your willingness to spend time with them.
Thankfulness is a state of the heart. We all have the choice to decide what we will focus on in life. Let's aim to be people that inspire healthy and selfless attitudes. Let's aim to live lives that honor The Lord and not our stuff or the retail stores.
One of the true marks of a Christian is an attitude of thankfulness at all times. No exceptions. And its not always an easy thing. But if we practice having a thankful heart it will become easier to maintain it even during difficult times. 2 Corinthians 2:14, I Peter 1:6+7
Sometimes learning to have a thankful attitude begins by noticing the little things we should be aware of. For example: I am thankful I have the health and internet connection to even write my thoughts and share them here online. And I am thankful for readers who find encouragement on this blog. Thankfulness... its a beautiful thing!
" Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
let us be THANKFUL, and so worship God
acceptably with reverence
~ Hebrews 12:28