Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Thoughts on Thanksgiving

It was 150 years ago that President Lincoln declared a national holiday to be a day for  ""Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens", to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26.  **

Subsequent Presidents fiddled with the actual date for the national holiday and set it as the final Thursday in November.  

In 1939, November had five Thursdays so  President Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas and changed it to the fourth Thursday of the month.   The country was still reeling from the effects of the depression and he wanted to stimulate the economy.

Perhaps his decision was the beginning of losing the real meaning of Thanksgiving. 

As a child, Thanksgiving was all about having a huge meal to be shared with your family.  My mother would cook and bake for days getting ready for the meal.  Our Thanksgiving table couldn't even accommodate all the food she'd prepare.  And, we all did our best to eat everything she sat before us.

There were no stores open on Thanksgiving offering super bargains or crazily extending shopping hours.  And, at our house, the meal wasn't scheduled around any football games that might be televised.  You visited with your relatives, yes, face to face, not via text messages then you ate the food prepared.  Afterwards, you visited again while the kids were outside playing.

In the last few years Thanksgiving has moved away from family meals and traditions and become a stepping stone for greed and envy as shoppers compete to find and buy merchandise.  Retailers have chosen to cash in and promote this by hosting Black Friday sales. Merchandise is chosen and sold for a limited amount of time which forces shoppers to be in their stores at a specific time to take advantage of their pricing.

I, for one, would like to see a return to the "old way" of celebrating the holiday where we'd all take time to be thankful for what we HAVE and not what we can push our way through a mob at 2:00 a.m. to buy. 

** Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Amen, Linda! We all need to be more thankful and put off the "what can I get" attitude. It really is a tragedy that we are pushed into the greed mode sooner. I think we all need to step back and be more thankful, much more. Hope your day was great!
TK Watson

Brenda said...

I so agree with you Linda! I hate black friday crap, it's stupid and there really isn't all that great of deals out there in my opinion to even make it worth going through black friday shopping. I went one time at the instance of my cousin's wife and let me tell you that was my first and last time ever going again. People act like they are nuts, no manners or anything. No I will stay at home with my family enjoying my home cooked meal and visiting. I don't think any store should be open and I don't believe in black friday. They can take it and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. lol

Wendy said...


MaryH said...

Linda, I've been missing for a while, and saw your FB post about your DH (who I hope is healing well and doing the rehab great!). I was reading through your earlier posts and saw this one. You really expressed exactly the same feelings that I have. I feel the same way about Christmas. All of our American holidays have become entirely too commercial. It seems we have forgotten what these special days were set aside to commemorate, and it was not buying 'things', watching sports or taking holidays. It was to celebrate family, cultural beliefs & a time to count our blessings. I'm with you in seeing our once great country return to the values of our forefathers, and those things that did indeed make us a great country & one where everybody seemed to want to immigrate to live. Thanks for this well-written post. Hugs