You may have noticed that stores everywhere—department, grocery, gift, right down to Dollar Tree—seem to have skipped Thanksgiving. The displays and decorations went right from Halloween to Christmas.
In a way, that’s deplorable. After all, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year! I love the special food and getting together with family and friends without the pressure that comes with Christmas. Low-key décor, no gift-giving required.
So what are the advantages of retail stores overlooking Thanksgiving? Quite a few, actually.
Turkeys aren’t all that cute, so we don’t have huge displays of either stylized turkeys or bare ones. The bin of frozen ones or those fresh ones at the butcher shop are enough without pictures. An occasional picture of a brown, roasted turkey helps us look forward to those tasty morsels.
Pilgrim pictures are way over-rated. Who needs stiff, uncomfortable-looking cardboard cutouts of our forefathers and foremothers? Reading to children about the first Thanksgiving brings warm fuzzies as we cuddle together without life-sized displays.
Gifts. Who needs gifts? Most of us don’t. I’m guessing that the people who give the most and those who receive the most need the least.
Surprises. Turns out people are surprised when we actually share our bounty on Thanksgiving. They haven’t seen Thanksgiving decorations, so they are sometimes only slightly aware that Thanksgiving is actually coming.
Sunday my friend Julee and I took turkeys plus all the groceries needed for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner to two homes. To see a face that initially was suspicious of why we were there turn to smiles and thanks was most rewarding.
Our Central Church has celebrated Harvest Sunday for years, with people bringing groceries to go with the turkeys paid for by the church. Then we scatter to make our deliveries, knowing that this is what Thanksgiving in our country is really about.
It’s about loving and giving and sharing our abundance. It’s about reaching out to those in need, whatever their needs. It’s about feeding the hungry and encouraging the down-trodden.
It’s not business. It’s not retail. It’s personal.
Retail can’t advertise that or capitalize on it. Decorations for true sharing don’t exist. Sharing comes from the heart.
May you all be loved and blessed on this most precious of holidays.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.