Category Archives: turkey day

Be Thankful for Thanksgiving–It is a Beautiful Thing

by Larry Peterson

Right now, a few days before “Turkey Day”, there are many people with very little money and the anxiety levels within them are rapidly increasing. They see the ads for ‘Black Friday’ all over the TV screen. They know Santa will be firing up the eight reindeer in less than a month. If they have children they desperately want him to visit their homes on Christmas Eve.  Let’s face it, kids are kids and Santa is Santa; to them the world of political correctness sans Christmas has no place in their little, anxious hearts. The kids KNOW it is Christmas time and no anti-Christmas hyperbole can change that fact. The stress this can cause for a mommy and daddy who might be struggling just to make rent can sometimes be overwhelming. And what about the single parents with only one small income? Providing a Christmas for their kids can be one of the most stress filled times of the entire year. But first comes Thanksgiving. This is a GOOD thing. In fact, this may be the BEST Day of the year for everyone, even those with kids and no money in their pockets. 

Why do I LOVE Thanksgiving? Why do I think it is the best day of the year?  Because it is the one day of the year when we pause and simply give thanks for all that we have even if it is just a little. A job, good health, a cancer in remission, connecting with a long lost relative, the birth of a child, surviving a natural disaster, there are so many things that we can be thankful for. People from every economic situation can have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens and prisons serve turkey. Folks who have little money are able to receive turkey baskets from various charitable organizations so they can have a turkey dinner at home with their families. No-one in America needs to go hungry on Thanksgiving Day. You do not need to purchase gifts. All you have to do is show up, hang out, eat and enjoy the uplifted spirit of family and friends that are with you, even if they are strangers in a soup kitchen. This year even the victims of the recent tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana  will have a turkey dinner available to them no matter what their situation. It will be something to be thankful for on that day and will generate a spark of hope in otherwise despondent hearts. We should all be Thankful for Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful thing. And it is an American thing. May God bless America and each and every one of us (legal & illegal alike) on this Thanksgiving day.

“If the only prayer you said in your WHOLE LIFE was,”THANK YOU”, that would suffice.”
Meister Eckhart 1260-1327, Theologian and Philosopher

"Black Friday" is now "Black Insanity"

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but the truth is, it has attained that status in my world  through the default of my REAL favorite holiday, Christmas. Christmas, in and of itself, will always be the best holiday because of what it represents; Peace on Earth, Good Will to All, Joy to the World and Love and Giving. And it all began with the birth of a baby in a cave or stable somewhere in the bowels of the  Middle East 2000+ years ago. The baby grew up, lived for 33 years, preached love and forgiveness, and changed the world forever. The whole thing is unbelievable. The story is also TRUE. (By the way–there are millions & millions of folks who agree with me on that–could actually be 2,000,000,000 or two billion—So there!).

Thanksgiving really asks nothing of us except to “share and give”. It’s beautiful. Well, that is how Christmas started. What happened to me this year was “Black Friday” was replaced by “Black Insanity”. The Christmas season has always been commercialized, especially in the 20th century and “Black Friday” has been around for a long time with people standing in line in freezing weather at two in the morning to get a “deal” on stuff. Good for them. They had already done the family thing on Turkey Day. For many it became a holiday tradition.

Now, this year, along comes “Black Insanity” (my definition). People were camping out all week so they could get save a few bucks on stuff on Thanksgiving morning and afternoon and evening. WHOA–What happened to family day with the turkey and stuffing and cranberries and pie and football and too much tryptophan –Puhlease—STOP! We need some quality time with our family and friends. Forget about saving some money. You are giving up something that has no price tag because it is priceless. Look folks, we need to empty ourselves once in a while of the world around us, even if it is just a little bit.

There was a time in America when every Sunday was family day. People who had jobs in necessary services  were the ones who worked on Sundays. Dads and moms would have dinner together with the kids, take them out together, or just simply hang out together at home. Most stores were closed, period. I grew up in NYC and the only stores open on Sunday were the candy stores to sell newspapers, the delicatessens and the bakeries. Of course, the saloons opened after 1p.m. That was it. There was a serenity in the air on Sundays, a pause from the everyday, a calmness that surrounded people. It was not perfect but it was good.

 I am just trying to make a point with all this rambling and the point is this. This “Black Insanity” that has taken place this year has opened the proverbial Pandora’s Box. Once opened it will never be closed. The only thing that will  happen is “Black Insanity” will expand it’s clutching fingers and grab hold of more and more folks who will believe that they are “missing out”. All those Sundays of years ago were crammed into Thanksgiving and Christmas. It took a long time but it looks like Thanksgiving has just become another modern Sunday?   What’s next? Christmas Day “white sales”?