It seems people say it every year, but Christmas sales, and Christmas promotions, and Christmas decorations seem to come out earlier and earlier every year. This year, my local stores had Christmas stuff up starting before Halloween. One of the local radio stations started playing Christmas Music last week. People are camping out at stores to get "Black Friday Deals" already.
What happened to Thanksgiving, or, for that matter, thanksgiving?
I get it. Thanksgiving is not a big retail holiday. People don't give each other Thanksgiving gifts. They don't buy each other Thanksgiving Baskets or decorate Thanksgiving Eggs. They don't buy Thanksgiving costumes. From a retail standpoint, Thanksgiving is a non-entity. Sure, the grocery stores like it, but they like Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter, and the Fourth of July just as much. Best Buy couldn't care any less.
Just because the stores do it, doesn't mean we have to encourage it, though. Right now, people in general are depressed and disheartened. All the "news" is bad news. Families wait on pins and needles to find out if their children in Afghanistan are still safe. People with family in Israel have similar fears over their loved ones. Over 23,000,000 people don't have jobs, and are having to rely on charity for food.
In the midst of all of this, we should be thankful. We should be joyful. I say this both as a Christian and an American. As a Christian, I'm commanded to thanksgiving and joy anyway. I don't always live up to that, but I'm instructed to give thanks even when I'm burdened by troubles. As an American, I am one of the most wealthy people in the history of the world. As a somewhat successful computer programmer, I can afford to feed my family just on my income, so my wife can rear our children.
Later, I'll post a list of what I'm thankful for, and why. For now, why don't you fill the comments with your thanks?