Thanksgiving was first celebrated by the Pilgrims as a time to give thanks for the first harvest in the New World in 1621. It transformed over the years into a time to appreciate all we have in our lives. The one day for Americans to be thankful for who and what we have.

Lately, it has turned into the day before Black Friday- the day that retail stores put a few items on deep discount sales to lure in customers so they can fight over the limited supply. It’s not just a stereotype. I’ve seen it firsthand. I have gone out on a few Black Fridays- not to purchase anything- just to witness the craziness for myself. I’ve seen people literally fight over flatscreen TVs, grabbing opposite sides of the box, having a tug of war. I’ve seen angry people march out of stores, upset that the deal they wanted was sold out. I’ve seen people dragging young children around at ungodly hours, in their pajamas- the day after the holiday that asks us to give thanks for all of the blessings we have.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold it against anyone for partaking- heck, my own brother has been taking his kids Black Friday shopping just about every year of their lives. I just don’t appreciate the watering down of our holidays. I remember as a child, traveling to Brooklyn each and every holiday to be with family. Both sets of grandparents lived there, as did most of my Aunts, Uncles and cousins. We ate a lot, joked a lot and of course, there were arguments, but we were family and we were together.

I remember when it was difficult to find a gas station that was open on a holiday. I used to feel bad for the few people who were stuck pumping gas and Now it’s hard to find a store that is closed. I don’t like the watering down of our holidays and traditions. Nothing is sacred anymore and each year brings us further apart. Families are much more spread out and the cost of living forces many to work on days that they should be enjoying at home. I’ve always appreciated those who had to work- law enforcement, emergency workers, hospital staff and the military, but they are a necessity.

Just my two cents. Hopefully everyone will enjoy a nice, hot meal with family and friends. Eat a lot. Drink a little. Watch a Christmas movie and take a nap, but don’t go shopping.

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