Spend Thanksgiving giving thanks, not shopping

Posted on Nov 15 2013 - 12:12pm by Allie Reynolds

The day after Halloween, my friend and I were shopping at Target, hoping to score some 50 percent off Halloween candy. When we walked into the store, a scary sight met our eyes: holiday decorations.
The holiday season has become so apparent in American society that many of us are not remembering to celebrate Thanksgiving to its full potential.

I understand the holiday season is retail’s biggest time of the year for sales, but I don’t think we should forget about Thanksgiving in the process of preparing for the holiday season.

With stores promoting the holidays already, it’s easy to forget about Thanksgiving in the hustle and bustle of the upcoming winter holiday season, especially when stores are now opening on Thanksgiving night to kick off holiday shopping.
Although the Thanksgiving narrative of pilgrims and happy, generous Native Americans may not historically accurate (See column on the real Thanksgiving in the next issue), I think the Thanksgiving we do celebrate promotes good ideologies we should actually be thinking about more often.

It sets aside a time out of the busy year to come together with loved ones and reminds us to take at least a moment to step back and look at all the things, people and places in our lives we’re fortunate to have.
It helps us realize all our privileges and to be thankful for them, while also spending time with the people we love.
Plus, we get to eat a ton of food for a whole day without anyone judging us.

In recent years, Thanksgiving has become lost in the anticipation of Black Friday, where retail stores across the United States open early on Friday morning to shoppers brave enough to face the best sales of the year and a stampede of people.
More and more often, retail stores are beginning to open earlier, some as early as 10 p.m., on Thanksgiving.
That is just all too ironic. Here you are having a nice dinner with your family and friends, enjoying each other’s company and realizing what great opportunities and objects you have in your life. Then it hits 10 p.m., and you’re in line at Walmart battling it out with another person for an iPad Air with a $100 discount.

When retail stores open on Thanksgiving, it’s easy to forget about the turkey and family and instead jump straight into the holiday season.
While it’s true that many people don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and some families are in financial situations where Black Friday may be the only way they can afford presents, I still think it’s important to take a step back for at least a day and be thankful for everything you do have.
It doesn’t always have to be on Thanksgiving. People should be able to have a nice Thanksgiving lunch with their family and then get ready to go out shopping with the Black Friday crowds.
Sometime during the holiday season, we should realize how lucky we are and take a moment to appreciate our surroundings.

This year, I encourage everyone to really appreciate Thanksgiving for at least a day. Enjoy spending time with your friends and family and eating the best home cooked meal of your life.
Try and take a step back to appreciate all you have. Then maybe take a nap. That turkey does make you tired. Once it hits midnight, and exactly midnight, you’re more than welcome to duke it out for that $100 tablet at Walmart.