Thursday, November 21, 2013

What about the W*r on Thanksgiving?

(Read Here for why I dislike using the word “war” as an adjective for anything other than war.)

'Happy Thanksgiving 2010' photo (c) 2010, Benn Wolfe - license:
It’s just about that time of year again! No, not when the holiday decorations go up, or the mall Santa’s come out in full-force; rather it’s that time of year when the so-called “War on Christmas” rhetoric gets drummed up again.  Right on cue, Fox News published a handy little website where readers can upload their own battle accounts of where Christmas is “under attack.” The site also features an interactive map where viewers can see places “challenges to religious freedom” are currently taking place.

Call me crazy, but how is challenging the hegemony of the Christian religion and the pre-eminent Christian holiday aka Christmas an attack on religious liberty?! The so-called “War on Christmas” (if there is such a thing) is nothing else but a push FOR more religious liberty! #ExasperatedFacePalm

Well, in case you missed it amongst the holiday (oops! Christmas décor) (see, I’ve succumb to the battle) decorations up in stores, the commercials about shopping lists, and the ads for stores opening the day before Black Friday (previously known as “Thanksgiving”). This coming Thursday is in fact, Thanksgiving! Yes, the holiday does still exist!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and still has all the values long-since abandoned by Christmas.  You know things like thankfulness, friends and family, and food.  In fact, I’d say Thanksgiving is what Christmas used to be before we allowed it to be completely commercialized.  And poor Thanksgiving, now it’s simply just a day off to “carbo-load” like a marathon runner before the rush of Black Friday. Heck, stores like Wal-Mart are trying to make it just another day to go shopping (and just another work day for their employees).

'Bondi Junction Shopping Mall' photo (c) 2005, Charlie Brewer - license:
Is the mall where you will be this coming Friday?
Forgive me if I find it just a BIT hypocritical that many of the same folks crying about “Christ” being taken out of “Christmas” are all too willing to get up at 3-4-5am to hit the stores for the deals.  These same folks who cry about the “War on Christmas” yet then go shopping on Black Friday—or God forbid Thursday—are complicit (i.e. guilty) for perpetuating that very “war.” There’s nothing more hypocritical than going out and shopping for new stuff the day after expressing thanks for what you already have! Anyone who claims to support “family values” should value families enough to not make them work on a holiday or 4am the day after! (If you go shopping, you’re doing that!)

If you really want to end the “War on Christmas,” truly celebrate Thanksgiving.  For starters, don’t go shopping on Thanksgiving weekend—or if you must—only shop on “Small Business Saturday.” You might try volunteering at a local outreach meal or giving money or food to an organization putting on a meal like the Denver Rescue Mission or (my dad’s church) East Denver BBC. If you wanted to get down-right Biblical, you could even invite over a less-fortunate family if you wanted to really be like Jesus.

 At the very least this Thanksgiving, take some time and value your family, your friends, those you love and love you.  Take stock of how fortunate you are, how much you have been blessed (by God, by circumstance, by friends, by chance—just be thankful). The best thing you can do to combat the “War on Christmas” is to really celebrate Thanksgiving—and that means truly being thankful for all that we have in life.

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