The Death of Thanksgiving

It has been made very clear that the coming winter months are a particularly important time for most people. All too often, Christmas celebrations become the highlight of our year. However, I find a tainted irony in that amongst all of this holiday spending; we tend to overlook arguably the most genuine holiday, Thanksgiving.

This year, it is anticipated that the average American will spend approximately $700 on holiday gifts and goodies. That’s more than $456 billion in total spent on fruit cakes, gifts, tacky sweatersthe whole nine yards. For many stores in our area including Best Buy, Babies R Us and Walmart, Black Friday shopping will begin as early as 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

The neglect of this staple celebration cannot be pinned solely on Christmas enthusiasts, vegetarians or corporate machines. It is the sad state of our society in general. We are so excited for times of gift-giving and self-gratification that we cannot see the simple beauty in such an uncomplicated fall festivity.

Thanksgiving is the one day a year that we are encouraged to take a little extra time to recognize what we have been blessed with in life: our homes, our family, our education. These are all things that big corporations cannot sell, and it shows in that as soon as Halloween is out the door, reindeer and tinsel take center stage.

A fact of the matter is, the only holiday that allows for us to cherish the things that we already have is overshadowed by the ones that condone us to want more of what we don’t have.

It’s only November! I should be able to take a stroll with my family and enjoy the crisp autumn breeze, embrace the few trees that actually change color in Thousand Oaks and find joy in crunching leaves that have fallen to the ground without being overwhelmed by an invasion of twinkle lights and phony snow in every department store.

Corporations are trying to bring on the cold competition that follows December too early and make the most out of what they consider to be the most important (or the most profitable) time of the year, and we buy into it. But at the end of the day, the only thing that this holiday haste causes is for us to miss out on what is truly the most valuable: giving thanks to those whom we love and for the possessions that we have.