Thanksgiving for the Greedy


It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the US.  We have a day of thanks, where we recite all the things we are grateful for, then we all get up before dawn tomorrow, to rush through the crowds, fighting for the best deals.

thanksgivingIt’s also the National Day of Mourning for our Native American tribes.  We had a Thanksgiving feast with the natives once.  Then there was a bad winter and land grabs began.

I guess shopping like greedy little bastards, elbowing your neighbor to grab that cute blue sweater.  A day of mourning is fitting.   Sort of like what happened to the natives, but instead of greedy bastards grabbing land, we’re grabbing some bit of clothing or some little nic-nac before someone else gets it.  In fact we are so greedy here that many stores are open today, so you can eat and be thankful that Wal-Mart opens at 4PM on the same day.

Just to be clear; I am not shopping, today or tomorrow.  I may do some online shopping tomorrow, but I’m only buying a couple of things for my husband.  I am so anti-consumerism this year, I don’t want to celebrate Christmas with gifts at all.  I don’t care to get a tree or Xmas lightsdecorate the house.  I don’t believe in the religious reason for Christmas, so that leaves the fact that it’s a glorified gift giving/getting frenzy.  And I’m too poor anymore to buy into it.

It’s not just that we’re broke this year either.  It’s been coming on for the last few years.  I’ve only been participating because it’s expected, and for my grandson.  But it struck me particularly hard this year that Grandson takes it for granted that he will get everything he wants, and if something should break, it will get replaced.

If he leaves his skateboard in the yard and it get’s stolen, it will be replaced.  He recently dropped one of the school’s laptops, and found himself grounded for 10 days!  He didn’t know what to make of that.  School was only half days all that week, so for him to stay off his Kindle and his X-Box (or whatever game he has on his TV) was really difficult.  I taught him to play Rummy, and we spent a lot of time on that.  He also spent some time re-discovering reading, though very grudgingly.   Even if it didn’t make a big impression on him, it really made me think about all the things he gets–what all of us get and take for granted.

So Christmas will definitely be a small affair.  Even smaller than our usual.  If the rest of the family wants the house decorated and a tree put up, they’ll have to do it themselves.  I did it all last year and I refuse to this year.  I don’t feel like celebrating the birth of a fictional character by buying into the mass consumerism the holiday has become.mitchhorsey

Maybe it’s just everything I’ve been through these last two years.  Maybe it’s my sense of Buddhism.  Maybe it’s just an age thing.  But I have enough.  I have a home and will have a roof over my head regardless when we lose this house.  We have three cars and are only making payments on one.  Granted they are now 4, 6, and 8 years old,but they all run and are cheap to renew.  I have a small family, and few friends.  I’ll be living the rest of my life on what I get from Disability. But it is enough.

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19 thoughts on “Thanksgiving for the Greedy

  1. I didn’t realize that Thanksgiving coincided with the National Day of Mourning for American Indians (only because I live in Australia). That seems such an odd contradiction

  2. You know, after all these years, what I remember most about Christmas times? Not the presents (surely they were exciting when we were young) but what I remember most was the family dinners. A whole bunch of people stuffed into a really small kitchen at grandmas place. Everything was just fluff and mostly wasted money. I too have been feeling the ‘waste of it all’ when it comes to presents and such. I no longer get excited when opening a present. Now that we live in a very small place, I really don’t want anything else because we simply don’t have room for it and even the stuff we have I want to find ways to get rid of most of the things. Two things come to mind. Geoge Carlin on ‘stuff’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac) and The Story of Stuff (http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-stuff/).

  3. I think your point about Thanksgiving only being celebrated one day…and then back to ‘whatever’ is a good point… It needs to be definitely remembered and acted on … more than just one day…. Diane

    • I think at one time people were truly happy to express their gratitude on one day, and live in gratitude the other 364. It’s only recently we’ve become such a greedy society. We all want more. More money, more space, more stuff we don’t need or use. I for one am getting off that line of thinking.

      • My husband and I were just talking about that attitude today… How at Christmas you really need to ask outright what someone wants or they are disappointed… We used to love the suspense of what someone was going to maybe buy us…Ahhh well can’t turn the clock back I guess…. but I will not buy ‘electonics’ for my great-granddaughter….. Diane

      • Agreed. That’s another sad reality of life; you can’t turn back the clocks. Lord knows I’ve wanted to time and time again. lol

        This year the grandson is not getting everything he wants. He’s already got everything! I don’t think I’ll even buy him gift cards for things like apps and i-tunes. Socks and underwear for him. lol

        I remember one year receiving a blanket as a Christmas gift. There were three rolled up, un-wrapped blankets, yellow, blue, and green under the tree. Me and my two little sisters were ecstatic! Each of us ran to a blanket, each choosing a different color. I don’t remember anything else about that Christmas.

      • One of my favorite Christmas gift memories …you know those times that are etched in your mind… anyway… I was about 10 years old and I had been having to wear some hand me downs…which was okay except they didn’t all fit right and certainly not in style… Anyway…my sister who had only been working a short time (she was only 16) bought me a wool plaid skirt …blue… and a matching ‘kitten’ sweater set…blue and white… and my Mom gave me a watch… not expensive.. but when I went back to school after the holidays ….boy did I feel special and even more grown up… and got many compliments… And just think I didn’t tell them what to buy…it was a surprise… (I’m getting a little misty here) Diane

  4. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at all here in Europe. At least I don’t know anyone, who celebrate this.
    I don’t believe in the history about the Christmas eather. Earlier I did celebrate my Kids day or just a Family Day that day. For me it did only have a meaning to celebrate our family and to stay together that day and enjoy each others company.
    Now where I live in Spain, we only celebrate a good dinner, I use to make a traditional Christmas dinner for us that day and no more. All the materialism are not us eather, so I understand you so very well.
    I hope, that you may have a great day with your loved once anyway.
    Irene

  5. I very much agree with your thoughts on shopping! I will never shop on “Black Friday”. In fact, for years I have refused to do ANYTHING related to Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday, and while I may be idealizing it, I love the focus on friends and family (okay and food and football) and NO GIFTS (Our society has ruined Christmas!) Once Thanksgiving is over, I focus on planning my annual cocktail party with a purpose … women anonymously giving to local charities … in lieu of gifts to one another … pretty cool.
    I came to your blog by way of Crystal and I came because she mentioned “ranting”.
    I was not disappointed!!

    • Thanks for dropping by. Glad I didn’t disappoint. I do like to get on my soapbox from time to time. I don’t usually have an idea on fixing the problem, but I do like to point it out.

      I just dropped by your site. Nice photos!

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