The Grinch that Stole Thanksgiving
Christmas Carole 2010
Over the years many critics of American society
have stated how materialistic we, as a nation have become. My
wife and I have sang along with Shania Twain’s song “Ka-Ching” as we
drive to one of the many malls. I have had to move stuff off our
couch so I could sit and watch “Hoarders” on TV.
When Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 or
first officially celebrated as a government holiday in 1789, Americans
had less material possessions and services. In those times and
for may years later anyone who over did it had to go to an outhouse,
there was no running water or public sewer. In most cities the
moon was the only streetlight and the closest thing to a mall was a
general store about the size of an average house of
The day after Thanksgiving, which has become known
as Black Friday, has been traditionally the day when the Christmas
Buying Season started. Over the years Black Friday started earlier and
earlier, stores started opening in the cold dark morning hours with
shoppers already lined up. This year The Grinch stole many
peoples’ turkeys as many stores were open for Pre-Black Friday sales.
Descendants of Ebineezer Scrooge sent descendants of
Bob Cratchet to work for yet another day in the quest for the
dollar. I do not think that adding one more day to the Christmas
Buying Season is going to get America to actually spend that much more
because most of us have to live by budgets. To many of these
people who had to work, Thanksgiving was the last day of rest before
the insanity of the Christmas Buying Season started.
Our shopping malls become fuller on
Sundays as our
houses of worship become emptier. In some cities, churches are
knocked down only to be replaced by office and retail complexes; where
a community got together, now there are only things to be bought.
At the many houses of worship, people were taught The Golden Rule and
the virtues of charity while today people at the malls are programmed
to put themselves first.
This year on my way to the mall I will pass many
foreclosed homes and two burnt out houses on my street. Two of
the families will celebrate Christmas together in a new place and many
of their gifts may be items to replace items that we take for granted,
items that sit in a dumpster in front of what used to be their
home. One other family lost something irreplaceable, one of their
When buying a gift this year, carefully think of the
recipient’s situation. Many people who are still working may not have
gotten an annual raise, so next year may be just a bit tighter.
Practical gifts may be less fun to give, but much more appreciated by
their receivers. Instead of getting a bunch of small gifts, get
together with people and pool resources as to buy something
nicer. Also consider the cost of ownership of certain
items. A good example of such is a printer - instead of buying a
cheap one, get together with a few others and buy a better model which
may be more expensive for those who purchased it, but more affordable
to it’s recipient
Also don’t be afraid to make something.
A few years ago my wife and I bought her mother and father a digital
picture frame. We spent may nights between Thanksgiving and
Christmas scanning old family photos. My father-in-law spent
about an hour watching it display pictures of his children, siblings
and parents. The next day he went on to join his parents and a few of
Thanksgiving is also the time of many class
reunions. Take the time to revive old friendships and make new
As many of us return to work and school this week
and bring leftover turkey sandwiches with us, I wish that every bite
brings back a happy memory of the holiday. I also hope that more
thought than money goes into each Christmas gift this year and that we,
as a people can come together and help each other face the challenges
that lay ahead.