What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Let me guess; it's food, right? Or maybe it's watching football on TV?
I'd bet money that the first thing that pops into your head, however, is not something that you are thankful for. For a holiday with its entire purpose stated in its name, people sure don't understand what Thanksgiving is about.
If Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day of thanks, then why do we spend it in indulgence? A quick prayer around the table for a religious family, and they're ready to dig in. Others, religious or not, will even ignore that part and skip straight to the food.
I guess I missed it when the last Thursday of every November was changed from Thanksgiving to Excuse-to-Eat Day. Because be honest, how many of you use Thanksgiving just for that purpose? To stuff your faces with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, pumpkin pie, etcetera?
I don't want to rain on your Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but you are completely missing the point of the holiday.
Shouldn't we take the day to appreciate what we have? To put all of our troubles aside and say, "I am alive. I am well. Others aren't." Shouldn't we take the day to help those who have nothing to be thankful for, like the homeless and other people who can't afford to survive on their own?
Instead we choose to waste and waste and waste food. Oh sure, let's not worry about the starving kids in other countries -- or even in America, for that matter -- because it's turkey time! Some people cry tears of joy at being able to buy a loaf of bread while we have so much food we actually prepare for leftovers.
And this brings up another issue that I like to call the "Christmas problem." Why do we need just one day out of the year to be appreciative for what we have? Why are we not doing this every day?
When you take the food, football and parades away from Thanksgiving, what are you left with? A normal day where people discuss how appreciative they are for the things in their lives.
We need to stop with the hedonism and start with the helping. We need to give underprivileged people something to be thankful for, instead of abusing and wasting what we have. And we should do it more often than just one day out of the entire year.