But see, when I was a kid, Thanksgiving was a holiday. You know, a real holiday. At school, as soon as the jack-o-lanterns were taken off the bulletin boards, we started our Thanksgiving “unit.” We discussed the Pilgrims’ journey, sang songs, and made little turkey ornaments for our desks. The stores were filled with pumpkins and spices and fall displays. Plans were made for trips . . . “to grandmother’s house we go.” The air was ripe with the scent of pumpkin pie and burning leaves.
Yesterday, I went on a food run, as we were out of everything but three cans of peas and enough Ramen noodles to feed a third-world country. (Who bought all those peas, anyway?) As I maneuvered my cart through the aisles, I was assaulted, yes assaulted, by inflatable Santas and rolls of gift wrap. “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” piped through the speakers, and the refrigerated cookie dough aisle had ten different varieties of Santas and angels, but not one turkey.
The problem here is not that we are celebrating Christmas too early. It’s just that we’re forgetting about Thanksgiving. We’re forgoing family get-togethers because we have to be up at 3 a.m. Friday morning to be first in line for a $29.99 TV/VCR/DVD.
We’re forgetting to stop and be thankful for what we have, because we are so worried about what we still need to get.