As Thanksgiving approaches, one of the realities is that it is a holiday that seems to be fading away. Sure, many professionals get the day off (even I take time off on Thanksgiving), but the origins of Thanksgiving seem to be giving way to materialism.
While most of us still recognize Thanksgiving as a vital part of our culture, and still recognized as a holiday, it doesn’t seem to get the same sort of fanfare that it has received in years passed. Indeed, Thanksgiving seems to be sandwiched between Halloween and the ever-longer Christmas shopping season.
As a result, it seems as though Thanksgiving is becoming less and less of a recognized holiday, and more of a stopping point (full of food and possibly family) sometime in the late autumn. We’re to the point that Thanksgiving dinner is almost something that we eat to give us strength before heading out to go shopping at 9 p.m. — when some of the earliest “Black Friday” sales start (before Friday even begins).
Do We Need to Revive a Culture of Gratitude?
The way Thanksgiving is fading from our collective notice seems to be of a piece with an increase in the culture of materialism, and interest in stuff. As a result, it’s easy to be unhappy. After all, there will always be someone who has more stuff than you, or newer stuff, or nicer stuff. When you get caught up in that, it’s easy to become discouraged and think that one special item will help you feel happier.
Instead, though, maybe it’s time to turn focus back to being grateful. While there’s nothing wrong with having things that you like, and surrounding yourself with beautiful things if that’s what’s important to you, it’s also important to remember to be grateful for what you have. Interestingly, gratitude can make you happier, and it can save you money, since you won’t feel like you need to always be out buying things, trying to find that contentment.
Do You Take Time to Be Grateful?
Thanksgiving is a great time to be grateful. Before you fall into the Black Friday money trap, take some time out on Thanksgiving to really be thankful for what you have. Think about all of the things that you enjoy in life, especially those intangible things like friends and family, and the good memories that you have.
Taking the time out to be grateful can help change your outlook on life, making you a more positive persion, as well as as providing you with the opportunity to slow down and really consider what’s important to you.
Maybe what we need in our culture is a little more time to celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead of just rushing from Halloween to the hustle bustle of Christmas shopping, maybe we should slow down a bit and remember all the things we already have, rather than rushing out the door to fight over things that we don’t have.
What do you think? Is Thanksgiving fading from your family’s traditions? Do you think that we need more gratitude in our culture?