Thanksgiving 2016 is behind us; and, depending upon the calories consumed the ‘behind’ part might have gotten more noticeable overnight. But I digress.
We move from what has become for many of us THE day of excess consumption of food right into the full swing of the season of ‘getting’ on Black Friday. We awaken very early and prepare to get into the full fray of shopping. Black Friday has, over the years, become a momentous day for many of us. The retailers of America have worked diligently to cultivate this ‘buy-buy-buy’ aura and we have seemingly been all too happy to participate. More ‘stuff’ is very enticing.
For many retailers, this is touted as the day that will achieve their profitability for the entire year. We purchasers seem all too happy to be enticed, by sales prices, into parting with more money than we had planned as we get caught up in the excitement of acquiring…for self as well as for others.
That is all well and good provided we do not lose sight of the true meaning of this season on the calendar. We Christians are approaching the point on the calendar when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but many of us have become very happy to participate in the gathering of stuff, as well. It is all well and good to combine the two, but keeping the most important aspect of the season in mind is critical.
Ideally, we can be mindful of the true meaning of this celebration even though we indulge ourselves. I think, for the most part, that we do make that distinction and that we do not forget the most important part of this celebratory time. This is a time when we gather together with family members beginning with Thanksgiving and continuing on to the start of a new calendar year.
I may simply be demonstrating my curmudgeonliness. I recognize that is a distinct possibility; however, I feel blessed to be growing in my excitement about the real purpose behind this celebration with each day that passes. I do not begrudge anyone enjoying the commercial aspect of this season; I, too, enjoy that. I know that, for many, there are memories that become more clearly remembered at Christmas. We think of those who have passed from our lives either by death or simply by leaving our lives. We think of those who are fighting for us every day while risking their lives. We think of those who are suffering one malady or another.
We are each truly blessed; some to a higher degree than others by circumstances, and some to a lesser degree by circumstances. But, if we are able to remember what this celebration should center on, we are blessed regardless of circumstances.
So, the retailers will end the day tallying their sales. The shoppers will end their day tallying their successful quests, and some might lament a bit over what their day cost from a monetary perspective. So long as we know what this season is about, we are fine even if we occasionally go to excess on the material things. We do want family members to be happy with their material gifts. But even more, we want family members and friends to be aware of the reason for the season.
We can ‘have it all’ but it is a blessing if we can do so with a balance which recognizes each aspect of this wonderful time on our calendars.