My heart truly goes out to all those who, forced by circumstance or conscience, are compelled to brave the marketing wilds of commercial excess today. I shed a tear for you.
Black Friday seems to tell us that, after a moment of gratitude, we should go right out again and consume everything we can. As the dust settles, tempers calm, and heartbeats slow, I hope we remember the reason for this time of year is to share with our loved ones our feelings for them. The thing that is remembered is the fact of the gift, not what the gift was.
I was looking at Youtube videos about Thanksgiving, and found that there are a huge number of people recording what they are thankful for, and the one “thing” that most talk about are their families. Traditional, nontraditional, physical relations, or families of association. Things were not mentioned very often, except in cases like the fire department that provided a Thanksgiving feast for a family after their kitchen was destroyed, or the new home built for a family after a disaster – the shininess of the appliances or expense of the food was never mentioned. The families receiving were always blown away by the thoughtfulness. We’ll remember emotions long after the thing wears out, and long after all that food is eaten or the new appliances have lost their shine, those families will remember the kindness of the folks who thought so highly of their fellow beings.
Giving thanks for abundance is sweeter than the abundance itself.
The gifts we give those we care about – whatever those may be – are only symbols of what we feel. And our gratitude as we receive those symbols will be remembered long after the thing itself is gone.