By Sarah Stevens
Santa Claus is coming to town, already?
It is the day after Halloween, and Lennox Mall in Atlanta has Christmas trees adorning every corner. “Jingle Bells” is blaring out of the speakers and Santa Claus is sitting proudly in the middle of the mall, ready to lend an ear to the little ones. It is Nov. 1 and we are already forgetting Thanksgiving.
Too many people skip the precious time we are given in the month of November to acknowledge the importance of Thanksgiving. The tenderness of Thanksgiving is easy to miss. It is the most understated and non-commercialized holiday relying on one theme, being thankful.
Most people take down their spooky décor the morning after Halloween, only to drape bright lights on their artificial Christmas tree that very same day. Where is the momentary lapse in time where we pause between the two most commercialized holidays in America?
Thanksgiving matters. It is the most important holiday. It is not Veterans Day, when we graciously pay our respects to those who fight for our freedom. It is not Christmas, when we pay tribute to Christ. It is Thanksgiving, when we express gratitude for everything and take a day to be grateful that we live in America. I am a firm believer in Thanksgiving, in the celebrations it encompasses as a holiday in America, and I believe we need to give it the attention it deserves.
This past fall break I was at Lennox Mall in Atlanta and I noticed that Nordstrom had signs posted on every exterior door reading, “At Nordstrom…we won’t be decking our halls until Friday, November 27. Why? Well, we like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.” How revolutionary that a department store in one of the most popular shopping cities in America would not put up Christmas decorations well in advance, so much so that they have to post signs for concerned consumers.
Even Facebook has a group created last week called “Please Don’t Forget Thanksgiving” boasting 127 members. The group’s information reads, “To many Americans, Thanksgiving is just a time to eat turkey and watch football. We should enjoy Thanksgiving for what it is: a day to thank the Lord for America, our freedom and the many blessings we have.” These days, it seems like Americans are more concerned with being showered with new gifts rather than be thankful for what they have.
Though some may see Christmas as a legitimate reason to skip Thanksgiving (if honored the right way), the commercialized appeal that perpetuates Christmas and Halloween for so many Americans demonstrates how different the approach of Thanksgiving is.
Thanksgiving needs more attention. We are giving thanks to the nation that provides us with the freedom to celebrate other holidays. We need to take appropriate time to pause and reflect between the busy holidays of Halloween and Christmas and dwell on what it really means to be thankful.