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Thanksgiving column: Consumerism in Thanksgiving

Black Friday hasn’t been just an ordinary Friday for quite some time now. Our rampant consumerist culture has not only torn apart the beloved American tradition that is Thanksgiving, but it has also destroyed the very morals the holiday stands on.  


We are taught Thanksgiving was founded on “giving thanks” for the fruits the year has yielded us. As we mature our memories of the holiday are filled with moments of time spent with family and friends, reflecting on our blessings. 


Yet, more and more we see a blatant sense of irony during this holiday and the days following it. Rather than spending these days in merriment enjoying the company of loved ones, we have created a false sense of “need”.  As a society, we scramble together in stores for the best deals, striving over the course of a few days to purchase goods we have gone all year “working for.” 


According to Statista, online spending on Thanksgiving Day has nearly doubled over the past four years ($2.87 billion in sales in 2017 to $5.1 billion in 2020), and Turkey Day shopping hours are trending from away morning to the 7 to 10 p.m. time frame. 


It seems to me we have unconsciously justified our lustful desire for more under a clouded vision of “giving.” Society claims that the holidays are the “season of giving” and so we accumulate goods in hopes that by buying we may receive, benefitting off of the “generosity” of others. Once again, exemplifying how illogical our notion of Thanksgiving is.  


So, what do I suggest? Simple, stay at home this year. Close the laptops. Cherish your families and give thanks for the gifts God has so mercifully bestowed upon us. 


Who says we cannot use Thanksgiving for what it’s meant to be? We can give thanks to those who aided us in the uncertainties that every year inevitably brings. We can give time to those who rightfully deserve it but are often forgotten in the hassle of everyday life. And in the true spirit of thankfulness, we can give empathy to those less fortunate than ourselves.  


That is the genuine holiday spirit we may be responsive to what is truly “needed.” 

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