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Phelan: Time to give thanks, not time for shopping

Published: Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 5:30 a.m. CST

Black Friday is seen as the official start of the holiday shopping season. According to my accounting professor/mother, Black Friday got its name because it is the day when retailers definitely turn a profit, or are “in the black.”

According to commercials, tomorrow is the day when we officially transition from “fall holidays” to “winter holidays.” But even with this sharp division of crazy shoppers, the Christmas spirit has been slowly creeping forward, glazing over Thanksgiving toward the more profitable Christmas.

If you’re planning on going to a Black Friday door buster event that occurs on Thanksgiving night, I urge you – don’t.

Although Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus (for the rest of us!) are important religious holidays and bring family and friends together, Thanksgiving is a holiday, too. In many places, I see Christmas lights being strung up earlier and earlier, stores putting out holiday decorations before Halloween, and an altogether sense of, “Let’s get ready to buy, give, and receive as much as we can, and just forget about giving thanks!”

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Yes, I love the atmosphere around Christmastime, and as an American Christian I always feel pride on the Fourth of July. But Thanksgiving will always stand out to me as the most crucial.

When was the last time you truly thought about what you were thankful for? The last time that you listed the things that others might not have in their lives? Me, I’m thankful to live in such a wonderful community. I’m thankful to have access to education. I’m thankful for anyone who reads this column. I’m thankful for the food in my stomach and the roof over my head. I’m thankful for my family that I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with, and that my sister goes to college close enough to be able to come home for holidays.

And, yes, I’m thankful for the Christmas presents I’ve yet to receive and the new year I’ll make my mark in. I just wish that the world could hold off a bit and really focus on this holiday first. Reflecting a little bit will make the stress of making a perfect turkey melt away.

Have a simply wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone. 

• Courtney Phelan is a senior at Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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