While peeling potatoes, I decided to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After about 30 minutes, I couldn’t stand it any longer and turned it off. My mind began to scan the last several days of preparation for this great American holiday; a holiday, in my opinion, that is disappearing from the American calendar. I thought about a recent trip to Target and the noticeable absence of Thanksgiving displays—ceramic turkeys, cornucopia and festive paper goods. My mind recalled the obvious decreased mention of Thanksgiving in commercials and other advertisements and as I interacted with clerks at stores. Did anyone wish me a Happy Thanksgiving this year?
In Thanksgiving’s place, I noticed the encroachment of commercial Christmas, which was why I turned the television off while watching the Macy’s “Thanksgiving” Day Parade. I couldn’t take one more cheesy Christmas jingle. Where were the pilgrims? Where were the grateful commentators who spoke of the many blessings we enjoy each day in abundance throughout our nation? Why has commercial Christmas eclipsed this beautiful and historic celebration of the many gifts given to us by God?
I’m taken back to a passage of Scripture that has been meaningful to me of late. It describes how Israel had been overwhelmed with gifts from God and “became like a Queen.” Her fortunes increased and her fame spread. Other nations looked to Israel with respect and admiration. And the result was that Israel forgot from Whom all her blessings flowed. She forsook her husband; the One who had gifted her with wealth and prosperity and gave herself to other lovers.
“But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking. You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you played the prostitute. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen?” (Ezekiel 16: 16-17)
How could such a thing happen to us—America the beautiful? Apparently quite easily and with little protest. Thanksgiving and the gratefulness it should inspire have disappeared while run over by the commercialization of Christmas. I’m sad and mad about this. I know that even though I live within this candy-coated culture that has erased Thanksgiving from the calendar and replaced it with a vulgar facsimile of Christmas, I can personally protest. We, as a family, can make decisions to live counter-culturally. And we will.
So, here goes. I’m making a public declaration of my own intentions. If you are exercised in a similar way, maybe you can think about doing something similar.
- I vow to cherish this beautiful national holiday of Thanksgiving and keep it sacred in our own family’s traditions.
- I will not allow Christmas to upstage Thanksgiving. The time for Advent will come.
- I want our Thanksgiving table to be dressed in such a way that sets this day apart and makes it holy.
- And I earnestly commit to counting my blessings on Thanksgiving and giving credit where credit is due. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise him all creatures here below.
Okay. Done with my rant.