Tis the season… the season when all the Holidays run together into one big jingle bell. It’s 90 degrees outside in Nashville, in late September and you can waltz into Target, looking for toilet paper and be reminded that Christmas is just around the corner. WHAT? I haven’t even purchased the first pumpkin! There is an aisle dedicated to Halloween candy and costumes, which is even a little premature in my opinion, but one aisle over, the yard decor is being carted out and Holiday lights and Christmas trees are being rushed in… and Holiday music is slowly crescendoing. Now… please, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, for what it is supposed to be… but aren’t we forgetting about something? Oh yeah, that low profit Holiday that falls in between. You know the one… Thanksgiving.
When I was younger, I remember every single holiday had it’s time… one at a time, and each one was cherished for what it was and what it resembled and how it brought out true joy in people… for their own reasons. Halloween was about candy and costumes and friends getting together, going from house to house, to see who could get the most candy in their plastic pumpkin…only to have our parents ration it out over the following weeks. Then came Thanksgiving… gathering together over a turkey dinner with family, knowing that inevitability you would over eat, then relax with your family, only to eat a little more. Then, came Christmas… and all of the joy and excitement that it brought. Each holiday, it’s own season, with it’s own memories attached. When did that change? I don’t really know… but I can tell you this, as antiquated as it may sound… after my mom had spent days preparing a Thanksgiving meal, with all of the prep and details, and nuances that made it so special… if anyone had even thought of racing through that meal, to fly out the door, to go stand in line at some big box store for a TV… Oh Lord… I can’t even imagine!!!
Therein lies my theory… and please don’t take this the wrong way… because I was born and raised with entrepreneurial genes, and “the early bird gets the worm” mentality… and working hard to make a good wage… however… and this is a BIG however… there has been a huge shift in society as a whole… and the bottom line is that Thanksgiving is not profitable to fourth quarter earnings, and it does nothing, other than for Butterball sales, God love ’em… to end the year on a “strong close” for the large corporations of the world. It saddens me, but it’s true… I’ve worked in the big corp world, where fourth quarter is everything… it is do or die, year endings, bonuses, raises and promotions… all based on it. In the broad scheme of things, I’m not bashing big corporations… sales is sales… but is anything sacred anymore? I mean… why do you think the day after Thanksgiving is called “black Friday” anyway? … Because it’s the final push for retailers to get out of the red (profit loss) and in to the black. So, why even wait until Friday… let’s just start that profit gain in the middle of our Thanksgiving dinner… or even earlier. Uuuuuuuuugh! Ok, I think you get my point. In my “old school” opinion, Thanksgiving gets overlooked, and I find that to be pretty sad.
We live in a very chaotic world right now. In my time, I have never seen society more in a state of unrest. We are all in a mad rush for something, consumed with things that have nothing to do with the meaning of happiness, and all to find, that it only brings us anxiety and a yearning for peace. Turning on the TV, for the most part, only reminds us that there is so much hate and disconnect in our world. It has become the cool thing to say that we all just need to “come together”… but are we buying into a cliche, without any action? To me, Thanksgiving is the most important holiday of all… especially now. It’s not about things … it’s about people. It’s not about monetary gains, but something bigger. No matter who you are, what you believe, on what side of the aisle you fall… or how you choose to celebrate… it is one day that you can stop and think about something to be grateful for. It is a time when, as hard as it can be for some, we gather… not to receive something, but to just simply be together… to come together. It’s a time that I think, quite frankly, we all need, whether it’s for a party of two or twenty two. We need to laugh and reminisce, we need to hug and hold someone’s hand. We need to say thank you to someone for no reason. Most importantly we need to show gratitude and gratefulness. We all have our burdens to bare… but beyond that, we are blessed beyond measure in some form.
There is plenty of time to deck the halls and celebrate another beautiful holiday…however, my hope is that this Thanksgiving, you will feel warm from the inside out. I wish, more than anything, that those who are hurting will find some peace… and those who are lonely, will feel the love that only another soul can deliver. My prayer this Thanksgiving is that we will “come together” and be filled with the meaning of this holiday, if only for a day… that all of the ramblings of the world will be silenced, and togetherness will heal. Tell someone that you love them, laugh over dinner, hug like never before…and soak it all in. This day only comes around once a year. It is up to us… up to you… and up to me… to make Thanksgiving meaningful … and who knows… maybe it will just spill over into the holiday rush.
My warmest wishes for a Thanksgiving of togetherness…