Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I am left with a sick feeling in my gut. While it is true that I ate too much turkey and a few too many slices of homemade pie, this is not what has me feeling nauseous.
It was wonderful to spend time with my husband, children and extended family. Working in the kitchen, side by side with my mother, as we put the finishing touches on the holiday feast is a memorable experience. Eating more than our fill and trading stories and laughs in true Rockwellian fashion is a family tradition in our home. It was a a special day for all involved.
What left me feeling sick was a surreal moment I had when rushing out to buy some buttermilk for my sweet potato pie. Next door to our local supermarket is a Best Buy. And there, camped out in front of Best Buy electronics was a tent city that would put the Occupy folks to shame. Sitting around in the rain, they huddled, holding their place in line for the Midnight Sale.
When did this happen? When did Thanksgiving stop being a time of giving thanks for what you have and become the day before Black Friday? When did it merely become the excuse to get more… We have become a society that does not say thank you, we say Give ME!. We do not spend time with friends and family, we sit in line, fight our way through doors at midnight and descend into an animalistic feeding frenzy.
As I watched, on the news, the clash of weekend shoppers with the Occupy movement in San Francisco, I was further saddened. The occupy movement demanding shoppers not give money to stores, but rather to a fund for wealth distribution. The shoppers fighting for one more thing they wanted to buy. Yet, both groups true message was oddly similar, “Give ME!” Give me toys, give me clothes, give me money. Give me your money, your toys and your wealth. Give me.
In a weekend that was supposed to be about giving thanks, very little thankfulness was to be found, at least outside of my home.