By: Jennifer Longtin November 24, 2004 Published in The Joyous Revolution! Chicago, Illinois
As I walked down the street the other night, lights on the trees, carols coming from an open store window, I had the strangest feeling that I had forgotten something. I brushed the feeling aside, I had Christmas shopping to consider. It was so nice, shopping in the unseasonably warm weather, the reindeer on top of the subway looked almost out of place. But still, something was nagging at me – what had I forgotten in all of the hubbub of early Christmas shopping? Then it struck me like mashed potatoes across the face – Thanksgiving! Oh my goodness, how did we all forget Thanksgiving?
No one really forgets Turkey Day. But it has been pushed aside in recent years; in favor of the much more commercially sound Christmas. It is much easier for our capitalist society to praise the concept of giving than that of thanks. Why concentrate on something that only increases food sales rather than the one day a year which keeps most businesses operating? There is not much thanks in our instant gratification society, we want it and now – why should anyone thank you for doing your job?
Yet, our society loses something deeply important when we cast aside Thanksgiving. As the largest non-secular holiday on the calendar, it is one of the only times that we truly celebrate as a nation. In our modern amalgamation of a society, many are left outside in the cold on the birth of Christ. It is Thanksgiving which brings all cultures together, for no matter what your background, you always have something to give thanks for.
More than the non-religious nature of Thanksgiving, it is the title which points to the greatest loss we have suffered when Christmas décor is seen on November 1st. There is a general lack of thankfulness in our world today. We are always encouraged to want more: more money, better cars, the latest gadget, a Hollywood fantasy relationship, or even a total body (liposuction and dental work included) makeover. What ever happened to being thankful for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the breath you take, the food you have, the loving family or friendships that surround you. It is not a holiday that can be sold, although we all know they still try their hardest. It is a time to look around you and realize that hey, life could be a hell of a lot worse. This is the time of year to donate food to a food bank, pass out dinner to the homeless, move on from the past year and sometimes, just to be thankful that you got through it.
I wish you all a joyous Thanksgiving spent in the company of those you love. Please remember those who have less to be thankful for than you do; it will make you appreciate the joys you have more and I am sure that the power of your thoughts could cause a revolution.