Historically, Thanksgiving was a time to gather together and celebrate the year’s harvest. The celebration evolved from the pilgrims’ feast in 1621 to George Washington’s proclamation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1789. As a national holiday, all businesses were closed, and Americans gathered with their families for a Thanksgiving dinner. The purpose of the holiday was to be with family and to give thanks to God for all his blessings.
Nowadays, Thanksgiving has evolved yet again. This time, however, it has taken a turn for the worse. Thanksgiving has become Thanksgetting. Black Friday used to be the day to receive all the best deals for shopping, but now retailers have decided that greedy Americans can’t wait one extra day to shop. As a result, many stores are now offering their best deals on Thanksgiving Day.
This causes several problems. First, the intense advertising promotes greed and thus undermines the very basis for Thanksgiving as a holiday. Instead of praising God for his blessings, we do the very opposite—fulfill our greed through shopping. Second, shopping on Thanksgiving Day breaks apart families. When most stores were closed on Thanksgiving, their employees had the freedom to gather together. Now, however, such freedom no longer exists. Such employees at many retail stores typically do not make very much money and as a result do not have much leisure time or even the business man’s “weekend.” We wonder why our families are not close anymore, but we are too busy working or shopping to come together.
From now on, maybe we should think twice before shopping on Thanksgiving. Is it really worth tearing apart families just to save a few dollars on things most of us don’t need?
By Heath Padgett, Class of 2016