Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Dichotomy of Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I pray special blessings on each and every one of you at the start of the holiday season. Isn't it amazing how we have so many holidays crammed up so close together? I know Halloween already happened, but for some reason, I never really include it in the truly festive holidays that I love so much. Oh, I love Halloween, but Thanksgiving and Christmas both have so much more of a spiritual and faith-enriched theme to them than merely getting a sugar rush from all that Halloween candy.

And because Thanksgiving is such a faith-based holiday, especially if you look at its rich history and the thankful hearts of the pilgrims, I'm always confused and confounded by Black Friday. You spend all of Thanksgiving helping prepare the meal, sitting down with family, saying a (hopefully) heartfelt prayer of thanks to the Lord for His goodness before tucking into the meal. Maybe you even watch a movie as a family or the football game, but Thanksgiving is pretty much family and gratitude oriented.

Follow that with Black Friday, where crowds mull impatiently at store doors at 4am, pushing, shoving, grabbing, cursing, and a vast over-spending of money that Americans don't actually have. Wait what? How do these two dissimilar events occur in the span of two days? I just don't get it.

Thanksgiving is about worship and being grateful for what we have while Black Friday is about consuming more and more products that we don't actually need so long as we beat the other guy to it.

I've been there. I've done that. I've been that person in line at the store fairly early in the morning on Black Friday or, I'm ashamed to say it, late on Thanksgiving, fighting my way into Walmart before realizing the Black Friday insanity isn't for me and running for my life.

Isn't Black Friday all about dissatisfaction anyway? What we have isn't enough. "My tv is fine, but Best Buy has an even bigger one for the same price I paid for the one I already have so I must have it!" "Ooh, look at those Ugg boots, must have them even though my own boots are already pretty awesome." "Wow, check out all that makeup at Sephora that will be at such an incredibly low price even though I already own an entire drawer of makeup!"


All of the peace and tranquility you might have experienced on Thanksgiving Day will be shattered. For some people, and if you're one of them more power to you, Black Friday is a fun experience. But the older I get, the more I realize nothing is worth the mayhem and chaos of stores on Black Friday. NOTHING.

So today, as you sit down with your family, hold hands, and say a prayer of thankfulness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I encourage you to bypass Black Friday. Don't spend money you don't have. Don't dig yourself further in debt. The holiday season is about so much more than shopping and consumerism.

My sister loves celebrating Advent and this year, I think I'll do it with her. Because I want to remember that the holidays are about so much more than just presents or food or shopping.

And if you have to do the Black Friday thing, remember your blessings, hold onto the thankful heart you're experiencing today.

Me? Well, if I do any shopping at all tomorrow (which at this point I'm not planning on) I guarantee it will be all online.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends, and may you all have a blessed and peaceful holiday!

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