Friday, November 23, 2012
A co-worker of mine has a second job working at Walmart. According to her report, there were three fistfights over goods yesterday evening. When did Thanksgiving dinner turn into fuel for the mad shopping rush? Shouldn't it be about re-connecting with family? Reminding ourselves of all of the blessings we have in our lives? Stuffing ourselves with good food, watching a football game, and passing out in a turkey induced coma? When did thankfulness fall by the wayside in favor of a frantic free-for-all in pursuit of accumulating more stuff?

I haven't been able to make it home for many holidays over the last ten years. My job keeps me on the road, and every year my husband and I have to make the painful choice: do we take off for Thanksgiving, or Christmas? Do we spend it in Kansas, or Alabama, or Indiana, or with some other branch of our far-flung family? This time of year is a stark reminder to us of all the family that we so rarely get to see. For my family especially, a huge, close-knit clan, this Thanksgiving was especially poignant - my Grandma Peebles passed away earlier this year. As one of my cousins described the family gathering this year:
 "I so love my family. It was a little bit of an emotional day though, the first Thanksgiving without Grandma or Grandpa. I think you could feel the emotion in everyone today. What a great feeling to be part of a group where you know everyone there knows exactly what you are feeling even without saying anything!! I have been so blessed to be part of this amazing group called the Peebles family!!"
 I honestly don't understand how we, as a nation, have let huge retail stores hijack our holidays. We should be disgusted by the blatant commercialization of such special days, not bloodthirsty participants in the destruction of our own culture. If you are reading this, I urge you - stay home this Friday and spend time with your family. Don't be a turkey plucked for the table of big business. Remember, instead, what is really important in life, and if you aren't sure what that is I'll give you a hint: it doesn't involve waiting in line at the mall.

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I'm a 34 year old wife, truck driver, writer, and photographer with a love of adventure and travel. I am a Libertarian, and a total sci-fi geek. I studied archaeology at Auburn University.

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