Acquiring Overshadows Thanksgiving

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To me, Thanksgiving ushers in an end-of-year season of thanking God for our many blessings, celebrating our biggest blessing—the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—and setting purposeful goals for the next year.

I pondered and prayed about our local Christian radio station playing Christmas music all day October 31. Were they countering Halloween or getting a head start on the Christmas shopping frenzy? Most of my FB friends chose the first explanation, and I agreed.

The Black Friday frenzy is once again creeping into Thanksgiving

Now we have the infringement of Thanksgiving Day with some stores preempting “Black Friday” by opening on Thanksgiving Thursday! Two years ago when this trend started, they opened at 9 PM or midnight, but this year many stores are pushing the envelope and opening as early as  Thanksgiving morning!

The separation between Black-Friday and Thanksgiving is blurring.

The shift to earlier hours started in 2010 and has accelerated since then, said Kathy Grannis, spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation, which is based in Washington, D.C. Last year’s Thanksgiving shopping event was the biggest yet: More than 35 million people hit the stores and shopped online, up from 29 million in 2011, according to an NRF survey conducted by BIGinsight.–Sue Doefler. The Republic

Sadly, millions of people plan a quick “Thank you God for this meal,” which they’re gulping down to be the first in line for the “can’t miss, one-time-only, one-hour-only bargains.” Seriously? These stores run sales all year round and even more at every holiday. And financial analysts show that many of those stores opening on Thanksgiving are under performers and want us to help them get back into the black. Or their trying to make up for six less shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year . . . like we’re not all going to get our Christmas shopping done if we don’t start on Thanksgiving. Again, I ask, “Seriously?”

When I mentioned at our Thanksgiving dinner two years ago that I found it sad when a grandma at the table was going home to catch a nap because she had to go to work later at Wal-Mart, there were questions as to what I saw wrong with this new “tradition.” Here were my answers:

  1. Instead of focusing an entire day on thanking God for providing all we need and already have (something we should do every day) there’s a frenzied rush to acquire more than we need.
  2. Store workers no longer enjoy an entire holiday off. While shoppers are trampling each other for the “only-while-supply-lasts deals,” store employees have had to skip dessert to get back to work.
  3. It’s definitely not God enticing crazed consumers to go shopping on a day set aside to thank Him for life and provision. So if it isn’t God . . . who else would it be whispering in ears, “Did God really say you shouldn’t go shopping on Thanksgiving? He just doesn’t want you to get that great deal.” Hmmm seems like a conversation something like that took place in the Garden of Eden.
  4. How long will it be before after-Christmas sales start Christmas afternoon? If shoppers really support the opening of stores on Thanksgiving . . . it’s only a matter of time.

God Says . . .

In Exodus 16:4, the Lord said to Moses regarding the food He was providing for the Israelites, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” Later in Scripture, we learn that those who gathered and horded more than they needed lost everything.

In Matthew 6:24-26 God warns and assures us: “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

And in 1 Corinthians 10:14 “So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.”

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to You All

Enjoy what the Lord has given you this Thanksgiving, be generous with your time, pray for wisdom and discernment in your acquisitions, and above all, share with everyone you meet the greatest “deal” of all time—eternal life through believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

I would love to hear from you regarding what your family is doing to avoid the commercialization of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Please leave a comment below and share ideas with others.


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