Thanksgiving

It seems a shame that we have only one day out of 365 to give thanks. For me, every day is a Thanksgiving Day. We take so much of what we have in life for granted; the simple act of flipping a switch gives us light, or heat, or air conditioning. Our water is drinkable, our air is breathable. We have such luxuries as toilet paper and indoor plumbing. We have the freedom to work, to play, to marry or not, to move to another place, to buy or rent a home. We have food on our table and running water. There is so much to be thankful for.

For many people, Thanksgiving Day is merely the beginning of the big shopping season leading up to Christmas and New Year’s. Some have been camped out, in tents, since as early as Monday, to get some perceived bargain. When did Thanksgiving Day change from being a day to be with family and giving thanks? Retailers make a good deal of their profit between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it is in their best interest to start as early as possible. They weren’t satisfied opening in the early morning hours of the day after; they weren’t satisfied opening at midnight; now they’re opening on Thanksgiving Day to chase the almighty dollar.

I have seen postings on Facebook saying that soldiers don’t get Thanksgiving off so why are these retail sales people complaining about their holiday being ruined. Which entirely misses the point. When you sign up for certain jobs, you know you will be working nights, weekends, holidays, and long 24-hour days in some cases. It’s one thing to know that going in to a job; and another to have this thrust upon you at the last minute.

So let’s focus on giving thanks for what we have instead of worrying about the bargains we might get. And are they really bargains worth giving up your family for?

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Giving Thanks

I heard today that ~17% of people in this country don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That’s 1 in 6 people! 49,000,000 people; and 17,000,000 of those are children. ( http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20091117_Hungry_millions__USDA_documents_leap.html)
And those are 2008 statistics. Since then, there are more unemployed people, more foreclosures. I have heard some politicians say that if people are hungry, it’s their own fault. I have heard others say that hunger isn’t a problem. Those comments make me angry, because the people making those statements obviously aren’t paying attention to what is going on in this country. It’s a disgrace that anyone in this country should go hungry. Local food banks are stretched to their limits.

But there is hope if all of us give what we can to our local food bank. To see what you can do to help, go to: http://feedingamerica.org/
If all of us donate just one can of food to the local food bank, do you know how big an impact that could have? In thanksgiving, I challenge you to give at least one can of food a week to your local food bank (more if you can). And don’t stop when the holiday season is over – hunger happens all year.