Save room for turkey

Nisheeka Simmons, Staff Writer

A few days before Halloween, I took a trip to Wal-Mart to buy candy. Well, I got distracted, as most shoppers do, and took a trip to the ethnic hair care aisle. Imagine my surprise when while looking through things that I had no intention of buying, I heard the chords of “Silent Night” flowing from the speakers. Though I love the story the song tells of the birth of Jesus, I am not prepared for what the melody’s presence in a store entails. It means Christmas is coming, and I am not ready.

Due to my need to plan ahead, I expect there to be a certain order to things. Though I by no means suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, planning organizes the chaos that is my life and keeps me from going completely insane. This is a factor in why it annoys me that Christmas is commandeering Thanksgiving’s rightful place in November. In my opinion, the holiday is being overlooked, if not completely ignored.

There used to be a time that the eleventh month was reserved for reflecting on what one was thankful for, but there a few people I know who actually remember and acknowledge the significance of this time of year. Though some reserve their reverence for the fourth Thursday of the month, so far the day just seems like an excuse to binge eat and pass out in front of a football game.

Here is the second major reason I feel that Thanksgiving is overlook (and please do not shoot me when I say this): Black Friday. Now, do not get me wrong, I love a good sale as much as the next budget-ridden college female. Is it wise, however, to put one of the biggest sales of the year on the day after everyone professes the things that they are thankful for? Well, if you are a member of corporate America, the answer is yes. Yet, for the Americans who want to preserve the good aspects of their culture, I am not so sure. Many of us use the day for Christmas shopping, and while it is a great opportunity to get deals on things we could not ordinarily afford, it contradicts the message Thanksgiving brings.

I personally believe that the decreasing importance of the message of Thanksgiving and the values of the younger generations of Americans is positively correlated. The less significance we place on Thanksgiving, the less the younger generations develop a reverence and respect for the lives they are afforded. In turn, the less those generations place an importance on giving thanks for what they have, the less significant the Thanksgiving holiday will become. Or at least that is the way it seems.

Truthfully, this is only one of the many aspects of American tradition that is being watered-down and forgotten, but I believe that it is one of the most important. A lot of the values that were considered a part of the American way of life stem from holidays like Thanksgiving. At the rate that we are going, we risk diluting the things that helped create the way of life that we have become accustomed to.