Selling Out Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving has traditionally been one of the only days where it’s acceptable to regress into infancy—wear pajamas all day, eat, sleep, and eat again.  A day where you and the whole family would be locked indoors watching movies, playing games and you guessed it—eating.

Now, however it seems the good-old-days are gone.  What’s the new family bonding activity? Ah, that would be shoving turkey down our throat as fast as possible so we can line up with the masses for 30% off electronics or socks.

If TV relays the stories of our lives than gratitude and togetherness has taken a backseat to deals and steals.

Thanksgiving has turned into the meal we have on Thursday in order to “carb up” for Black Friday mall dashes.  Rather than the opportunity to gather, fellowship, and yes, be thankful— Thanksgiving is now the speed bump to supersized materialism.

Instead of gorging on a meal for an entire weekend we have opted to whet our appetite with cheap stuff.

It would be too easy to blame the stores that have decided this year that Black Friday can’t get here soon enough, so they have instead upped their openings to 8pm Thursday or 2am on Friday. Really?!?! Is our need for the latest gadget that deep that we have decided to sacrifice the art of conversation for cash-back at Kohls?

If there is nothing we’ve all learned from the series of tragedies that we’ve born witness to over the past few years from the Great Recession to Sandy is that “stuff” doesn’t matter…people do.  Yet, at every turn we continue to glorify products over people.

Sure, the consumer may be delighted by the prospect of shopping until they drop, but what about the salesperson that had to opt out of Thanksgiving this year or face a pink slip?

WalMart workers across the country went on strike today for that very reason.  Thanksgiving used to be one of their only days off and now the company has decided to open its doors earlier to boost sales instead of morale.

We’ve gotten so obsessed with the Black Friday seduction that we have overlooked the gift of gratitude and the art of thoughtfulness.

This holiday season let’s not just pause for a quick meal with the family so we can “get on with our lives”, but stop and enjoy the fullness of each others company and nurture our relationships over our desire to dig to the depths of the bargain bin.