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Traditional Thanksgiving Picture

The Idea of Thanksgiving Appeals to Me

I love the idea of Thanksgiving.

In the abstract, it feels all warm and loving, full of togetherness, joy, and gratitude. Thanksgiving in America these days, however, requires excavation with heavy equipment to unearth those essential elements.

How many references to Black Friday must I chop my way through to find a single relic of heartfelt gratitude? I find it nearly impossible to embrace a deep sense of contentment for my many blessings while simultaneously making plans to buy, Buy, BUY … more, More, MORE! From all indications, Black Friday has become the holiday, and Thanksgiving is merely the feeding frenzy before “the biggest shopping event of a lifetime, you won’t want to miss!”

I love a bargain as much as the next guy (possibly more!), but this year I’m feeling a bit nauseated at the mere thought of the holiday season. There is nothing about Black Friday that appeals to me … not the excitement of getting up at 3 a.m. … not the opportunity to compete for one of a “limited number available” … not even the adrenaline rush of getting the lowest price imaginable on something I can’t live without. Oh, okay. I’ll admit that last one does appeal to me a little. But I don’t want to pay the spiritual price for that kind of bargain.

So this year, instead of just complaining, I’m going to take self-loving action. I hereby give myself permission to make Thanksgiving 2013 a two-day affair. So, since Black Friday will fall on a “sacred holiday” this year, I will turn a blind eye to it. I will delete every email, skip over every print reference. I will not be shopping online or in the stores that day.

Instead, I will fill the day with activities that honor my family, my home, and my values. I might paint, listen to music, or write. One thing for certain, I’ll be sleeping in and smiling my way through the day.

It will be a REAL holiday … the kind where you get the freedom to do whatever you feel like. Do you know that feeling? It’s the one I got when I was six years old and school was cancelled because there was two feet of snow on the ground. The whole day was suddenly filled with endless opportunities for fun: sledding, snow ball fights, building snowmen and snow forts, and drinking hot chocolate. It was self-indulgence at its best. It was as if every bit of the routine had been swept away to make time for UNBRIDLED PLAY. I want some of THAT.

So this year, when I see the words Black Friday, I’ll assume a conspiratorial smile as I envision the words buried in a snowdrift. No matter what the weather is this year, for me November 29, 2013, is gonna be a SNOW DAY!


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