Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday of the year; it holds special personal meaning for me. Just this holiday’s name “THANKSGIVING” sings out happiness. And I treasure the fact that during a time of great division on many matters, we are reminded to come together as one with both love and appreciation. Thanksgiving is simply about having gratitude for all that this beautiful world has to offer. Before I dive into my opinion of Black Friday, lets dissect the meaning of Thanksgiving a bit further.
First, to ponder THANKS; Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our blessings, to count and cherish each of them one by one. We are reminded to take our focus off of what we don’t have and instead set our eyes on all that we have been given. Doing this, changes our perspective for the better. Gratitude is a beautiful thing, it is a life-giving virtue with an automatic pay out that is perfectly ingrained within its nature. Those who focus on gratitude for what they have rather than on what they don’t, reap the benefit of feeling satisfied and fulfilled. We can all find someone who has much more than we do, just the same we can easily find someone who has much less. But if we let go of those comparisons and intentionally take to the time to appreciate, every large and little gift, we can find reasons for gratitude infused in much of our everyday lives. A simple cup of coffee in the morning brings me pleasure and I am so thankful that God created the magical coffee bean. Change is a never ending reality and all that we have today may not be there tomorrow. This is the time of year to reflect, and not take our blessings for granted; even those seemingly mundane tasks can be appreciated. As I wash and dry my children’s school uniforms for the coming week, I remind myself that there will come a day when they won’t need them anymore.
I do not know of a better way to lift our spirits than to take our focus off of our own needs and wants than to reach out and give to others. Thanksgiving is a time to forget ourselves and lift up someone else. Just as we know that when a pendulum swings outward, we have zero doubt that it will swing back with equal force, the same is true with the nature of giving. This world was brilliantly created so that this natural law is intrinsically woven into the tapestry of our lives. We cannot do something, not anything without it coming back to us in some way. We live in a world of cause and effect so that every decision we make, and every action we take has its consequences. Every act of kindness or love we offer will return to us in equal amounts, so give freely! Perhaps this Thanksgiving is the perfect time to forgive someone and let them back into your life, you’ll be so glad that you did. Or maybe you can bless someone by donating rather than selling some of your belongings. One man’s clutter is another man’s treasure. Or go work in a homeless shelter for a day, not only will you come home with a happy soul that has been fed with bread of giving, but you also likely will be filled with gratitude for the house you come home to.
A HIJACKED THANKSGIVING
Just as Christmas shopping has trumped the true meaning of Christmas, in recent years, Black Friday has hijacked Thanksgiving Day as well. Sadly, we are now encouraged to start shopping before the turkey has had time to settle in our stomachs. TV commercials and advertisers brainwash you into thinking that you need to shop. Just because retailers have taken most of our holidays and turned them into marketing opportunities doesn’t mean we have to take the bait. Most of us don’t really need more stuff to add to our clutter no matter how great the deal is. There is also irony in the fact that as we are enticed to shop, our attention is subtly pulled from that of gratitude and giving, back to our own wants and desires. Back to “What don’t I have yet?” Dallin Oaks message “We can never get enough of what we don’t really need” are truly wise words.
If you do decide to partake in the shopping frenzy on Black Friday, please give Thanksgiving the respect it deserves and wait until the day is over. And as you shop, be extra polite to the other shoppers. Try to buy for others rather than yourself and be mindful not to go overboard. I am a fan of gift cards because they don’t add more clutter to a person’s home. The more emphasis we place on showering others with too many gifts, the less attention is given to the true meaning of Christmas. The same goes for going nuts with purchasing more and more holiday decorations every year. Do yourself and your pocket book a favor and keep the holidays simple. Appreciate the family, friends, and food and the reason for the celebration and let go of everything else.
Clean & Clutter Free
Laura is the Owner of Clean & Clutter Free, professional organizing services.