Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2012

“Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.” ~ from Wikipedia

During the month of November, many of us focus on gratitude. We are thankful for many things we have. Sometimes we forget to be thankful throughout the entire year for these things. We get caught up in our day-to-day lives, focusing on unexpected unpleasantness and forget to be thankful for even the smallest things that make our lives easier or more worthwhile.

As Americans, most of us have a roof over our heads, enough to feed ourselves and our children (and other people who come along), can pay most of our bills, and have access to healthcare facilities when we need it. The accumulation of “things” seems to be a national pastime. Americans never seem to have enough “things.” During the month of gratitude, an infamous day lurks: Black Friday. Having just gotten together for a wonderful family meal and a celebration of thankfulness, ruthless mothers and other equally scary bargain shoppers will swarm the local retail establishments to obtain more things. Many people will lose their manners and, in extreme cases, become homicidal when dealing with other shoppers wanting the same item.

We all want to provide wonderful things for our children, but when “want” becomes “need” I think we should take a step back and reexamine our priorities.

I leave you with a bit of a disturbing image and I ask you to do this: while you shop for loved ones, please consider making a donation to Toys for Tots (courtesy of the United States Marines Corps Reserves), Operation Christmas Child (courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse), or another organization dedicated to helping make the holiday season special for others. Ask your child or grandchild to pick out a gift to donate so that they will learn the value of selflessness and generosity.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.