Today I enjoyed a quiet afternoon – football in the background, kids napping, husband nodding off on the couch.
While prepping food for dinner, I reflected on how God is so good. And on how much a day of rest is needed. Sunday afternoons at home are a lovely gift.
I wasn’t paying attention to the TV but I still heard it. The end of a Verizon Wireless commercial for Thanksgiving specials. It wasn’t the great deal that caught my attention, it was the slogan.
It struck me as gross the first time I heard it. Later, while our son watched football, he heard the same thing. He looked at me with a smirk on his face and said, “ThanksGIVING, mom”. I think he just thought they said it wrong. I am grateful the pun went over his sweet 5-year-old head.
Not funny Verizon. Not funny at all. Some day we’ll struggle to undue what our consumer-driven culture is preaching to our youth.
And yet, doesn’t ‘thanks-getting’ adequately describe what the Thanksgiving shopping craze is all about? A retail driven, consumer fed threat to holiday meals.
Have we all forgotten what we learned in school about what the first Thanksgiving was? Two very different cultures, both struggling to survive, helping one another and sharing a meal together. It was about coming together, despite adversity and many disagreements, to build relationships among even those who were very different.
Does it strike anyone else as ironic that a day once spent in fellowship, giving thanks to God and one another is now being invaded by the desire to GET more stuff?
I think GETTING is the complete opposite of siting back and being grateful. Thanksgiving isn’t about getting more, it is about GIVING. Of our time. Our attention. Our thanks. Our love. And of deepening relationships.
If we’re focused on getting, we are distracted from the joy of spending time together. Instead of reflecting on what we DO have, we’ll be daydreaming of what we can get – for ourselves or others. In most cases, none of us need that item. It may be a deal, but it is more distraction than anything.
Our desire for stuff allows retail to take over a holiday about relationships and gratitude.
While planning for shopping around Thanksgiving, let us not forget that spending TIME with our family is much more valuable than spending our money. Or is it more like saving money by spending it?
Let us not forget that even the greatest Christmas gift may not feel as special if the giver neglects to spend quality time together on Thanksgiving. Or if the giver spends the whole holiday on a phone or computer mapping out retail conquests.
These sales may not repeat until next year. But neither will Thanksgiving.
Are you willing to sacrifice your family holiday and relationships for STUFF?
Put the ads, phone, and computer down and be present. IF you shop on Thanksgiving, do not let the deal planning invade your whole day and conversations. Spend quality time with loved ones. Reflect on what you HAVE. On what God has given. On the people in your life. Eat slowly and enjoy the meal that took so much effort and care to prepare. And linger…this is a holiday about the people, not the stuff.
Give thanks where it is due.
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. – Psalm 7:17