Thanksgiving, Thankful or Greed?

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When I was a kid on thanksgiving day, you would be hard pressed to find a store open. Then as time went on some stores would open for a little while as to catch those who needed something to finish up dinner. And now they open for shopping and to get all the money they can suck out of customers. Thanksgiving like everything else has became another day of greed.

The first Thanksgiving was held in the fall of 1621, sometime between September 21 and November 11, and was a three-day feast. The Pilgrims were joined by approximately 90 of the local Wampanoag tribe, including Chief Massasoit, in celebration. They ate fowl and deer for certain and most likely also ate berries, fish, clams, plums, and boiled pumpkin.

But thanksgiving was not really a holiday that was celebrated traditionally until much later. On October 3, 1863, Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation that declared the last Thursday in November (based on Washington's date) to be a day of “thanksgiving and praise.” For the first time, Thanksgiving became a national, annual holiday with a specific date.

FDR announced his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1939, he declared the date of Thanksgiving to be Thursday, November 23, the second-to-last Thursday of the month, being retailers determined that most people do their Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving and retailers hoped that with an extra week of shopping, people would buy more.

On December 26, 1941, Congress passed a law declaring that Thanksgiving would occur every year on the fourth Thursday of November. Lincoln had established the Thanksgiving holiday to bring the country together, but the confusion over the date change was tearing it apart. Now after this brief history of Thanksgiving I will get back to my view.

At one time it was for being thankful and families and friends would gather around the table and give thanks for all the good things that had happen during the year or even just for being alive or having food to eat. If there was one day each year when food and family took center stage, it was Thanksgiving. It was a holiday about “going home” with all the emotional content those two words imply.

Now it is rushing out after a big meal, finding deals on something and spending tons of money and it sad to think that more and more people find this to be so acceptable. It not pass the gravy anymore, it's what stores are open and who has got the best deals. Greed and tradition can't go hand and hand. The list of stores open on Thanksgiving Day keeps growing: Walmart, Toys R Us, Kmart, Old Navy, Sears, Target, JCPenny, Kohl's. Even Macy's, the proud sponsor of the famous turkey day parade, has decided that's not enough. It will open most of its stores at 8pm. The day of the Traditional Thanksgiving is about gone, we need to put the thanks back in the day and start being thankful for the little things again.

Don't give in and take time to be with your family or friends have a great dinner, relax and take the time to be greatful! The way the holiday was intended.

 

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