The Real Thanksgiving Turkeys . Thanksgiving Day, 2013.
Ahh, Thanksgiving. The smell of the cooking turkey, the laughter of the kids. The blessed gift of time to take one day off of work to sit down with family and to simply enjoy the pleasure of being together. A time commemorated by Norman Rockwell and engraved on our national consciousness as a beloved Pilgrim tradition that has been practiced since the founding of our great country. — A time that has now been almost completely decapitated by some very greedy and very real turkeys.
This year, a new practice is gaining in popularity. –Retail stores are opening up for business on Thanksgiving. It obviously wasn’t enough for the corporate turkeys that many retail employees have to work double or even triple shifts on Black Friday. It wasn’t enough that those employees had to leave the family gatherings early so that they could get enough sleep to be at the store at 3 or 4 am and to work 16 or 20 hour shifts the next day. It wasn’t enough that the employees had to deal with people trampling each other like stampeding cattle or for the employees to have to stop fist fights between greedy customers who rip the limited super sale merchandise out of each other’s hands for one day. No. It obviously wasn’t enough. Now, even counting on having the Thanksgiving holiday off is a thing of the past. The big fat corporate turkeys have sounded their call, and those employees who want to keep their jobs will shut their mouths and show up when they are told to be there. –And they are now being told to be there on Thanksgiving Day, often before their pumpkin pies have even had a chance to cool.
And as those white commercial turkeys pour their mounds of cheap merchandise onto the shelves of the store, millions of fat grain fed consumers are lining up to choke down their new crop of contrived bargains. It is common knowledge that the consumer is searching for something. That big dark divine yearning in the customers soul is too hard for them to bear, and they need new cheap stuff in order to distract themselves from its insatiable gnawing. And as those corporate turkeys fluff and gild their balance sheets with their plastic sales, the consumers look away rather than catch their own hollow eyes reflected in the store windows and doors. For there in the swoop of their coats and in the craning of their necks, in the pecking of their neighbors and the scuffles of lost feathers, they emerge victorious in their hunt with their spoils and in the process transform themselves with greed into becoming biggest turkeys of them all. For it is the consumers themselves who are the real turkeys who have taken our national holiday of Thanksgiving and are greedily selling it out from under all of us for a few dollars worth of cheap cracked corn.
So this Thanksgiving holiday, as you make your decisions as to how you are going to spend your day and your weekend, consider for a moment what the long term consequences are of your actions. What message are you sending when you refuse to honor another person’s holiday with your own personal greedy desire to bargain shop? What lesson does acting like a mob teach your children about Christmas kindness and generously caring for others? And what will you do when the gratitude foundation of our national holiday of Thanksgiving has been so completely eroded that your own future boss will, of course, expect YOU to be present at work on the fourth Thursday of November? Will you squawk about it then? I assure you dear turkey, it will be far too late. The feast will be over for good, and there will not be any leftovers anymore. by Rev. Karen Fitz La Barge www.kflabarge.com Thoughtful Boldness