Here we are, November 22, just a few days away from Thanksgiving. This time of year is complicated. On one hand, we are preparing our homes and tables for Thanksgiving, a day to remember our blessings, to be grateful for what we have and share with our family and friends. On the other hand, we are bombarded with sales, merchandise and gift ideas for the coming of Christmas. The sense of urgency in these commercials and sales pitches would make a visitor think that the anticipated holiday was mere days away, instead of weeks.
I understand that this is a sensitive issue, and as a Catholic, I am very much in the minority when it comes to dating the official “Christmas Season.” Regardless of when you start to celebrate the Christmas season, I hope that you are a person who still celebrates Thanksgiving.
Until today, I was unaware some companies are starting to use Thanksgiving as yet another marketing tool. In a series of new Black Friday sales commercials, Verizon has turned Thanksgiving on it’s head. Take a minute and actually watch the commercial (it’s only 30 seconds long). Did you catch what they did?
Thanksgiving is a time of year when we are supposed to look outside of ourselves. We recognize what we have been given, what we are grateful for. We give thanks, be that to God, to family, to friends, our nation, our community, whoever! Abraham Lincoln, in his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863, said
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they [the gifts of God, especially His mercy] should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I’m not hearing anything about getting. I’m not hearing anything about wanting more or I want it now. I’m not trying to fight the Black Friday craze, (please drive safely and bring extra patience with you anyone who plans to partake). But I couldn’t let that commercial pass me by without addressing it.
Thanksgetting? Really, Thanksgetting? Have we descended so low that this is now acceptable? Is this what we want to teach our children the day is about? Is this representative of our accepted values?
I’m not asking you to like or dislike the commercial on youtube. I’m not even asking you to share this blog post. I just would like to ask anyone who reads this to stop for a moment and evaluate your priorities. Where are your thoughts these days, are they in the spirit of gratitude, or a spirit of desire?
What holiday will you be celebrating this week, Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting?