samedi, novembre 30, 2013

What we lose when we lose Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving -- it really didn't begin with the Pilgrims.  Yes, they had days of thanksgiving for the harvest, for God's providence, and for their ability to survive in this new land.  (I don't know if they dealt with the moral complexity of surviving at the expense of native peoples. That's a fascinating question for those who have dug deep into early American literature).

But Thanksgiving, the holiday was institutionalized by President Lincoln in 1863. It became a reality during the Civil War, when we really probably could not have been more torn as a nation.

It was, and is, a day when families get together (and strangers are invited to share a meal). A time for celebration. A moment in the year when we take a Sabbath (broadly defined) from our divisions.

That's the ideal, anyway.  As I said in a previous post, the reality is that we are a very divided country right now -- and this Thanksgiving had, at least in the media, a distinct air of anxiety.

To my mind, opening the stores and besieging us with coupons and emails is a slap in the face of our traditions, and our sense of community.

Going shopping on Thanksgiving is so...Donald Trump.

Being behind a cash register on Thanksgiving because you have been coerced into it is so..."Brave New World."

From my perspective,  it's time to rebel against the ongoing onslaught of commerce that has infested every corner of our life.

For our health.

For our sanity.

For our brothers and sisters sake. That, in part, is what my column is about -- my attempt to rabblerouse and to stir you up a little bit.

What's your opinion? Have I overreacted?


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