Note from Gene: This is from the first chapter of my book Laughing With Sarah. It’s become an annual tradition to post this each year. Even if you’ve read it before, it probably wouldn’t hurt to read it again. Since I originally wrote this over 10 years ago, Black Friday is no longer the first day of Christmas shopping.
Thanksgiving. Perhaps the greatest feast of the year. A day full of turkey, ham, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, rice and gravy, cream corn, dressing, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli casserole, mmm, mmm. And don’t forget desserts like red velvet cake, pecan pie, coconut cake, fudge, and chocolate chip cookies.
It is a day of food, family, reflection, and gratefulness. A day to celebrate the past and dream about the future. It is definitely one thing the government got right. A day designated for citizens to stop and be grateful for all of their blessings.
Then the Thanksgiving killer arrives. Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving when Christmas shopping officially begins. Some stores open at 3 AM. Three o’clock in the morning!
Why is Black Friday the Thanksgiving killer? Because on Thanksgiving Day, we think about all that we have and we are grateful. But on the day after Thanksgiving through the rest of the holidays, we focus not on what we have but on what we want.
The Thanksgiving killer is the Christmas commercialism that says we need more. Just when we have a day to be thankful for all of our blessings, the Thanksgiving killers show up and tell us that we will not be happy until we have something more.
Someone wrote, “Half the world is unhappy because it can’t have the things that are making the other half unhappy.”
Author Steve Brown wrote, “The most unhappy person in the world is not someone who didn’t get what he or she wanted. The most unhappy person is the one who got what he or she wanted and then found out that it wasn’t as wonderful as expected. The secret of a happy life is not to get what you want but to live with what you’ve got. Most of us spend our lives concentrating on what we don’t have instead of thanking God for what we do have.”
Our problem is that we are looking at the Christmas catalogs focusing on what we want rather than looking at our photo albums and rejoicing in what we have!
Beware the Thanksgiving Killer. Don’t give in to its temptations to make you believe you need more stuff in order to be happy. I am discovering that less is more.
What about you?
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