Redefining why we give thanks

Kayla’s Worldly Intentions- Kayla DeVault

Thanksgiving is not an uncommon holiday around the world. Most days dedicated to grace and being thankful are days left to reflect on the positive aspects of life. It’s kind of a way to justify saying “Look how good we’ve got it” whether or not that’s really the case. Maybe days of Thanksgiving were created by worshippers convinced that their gods want them to live in poverty, but secretly wishing they will change their minds.

Then there’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.; we like to say we celebrate it to remember the peace between the immigrants and the natives when the Pilgrims first arrived. The reality is that peace lasted until the immigrants could swindle the natives of their food and lands while waging ruthless, if unintentional, biological warfare. Today, these holidays have lost nearly all of their traditional meanings.

Let’s be real—no one gets together on Thanksgiving to thank God for that big bowl of green beans Mom made, or for that Domino’s pizza Dad ordered because he still doesn’t realize food comes from more than just a box or a takeout menu. In fact, if anyone still celebrates by giving thanks, it’s most likely thanks for the new PlayStation you know Mom’s going to go look for in the morning, or thanks for this big plate of food “now please, can I please just eat it?” No, today we choose not to remember the virtues experienced by some poorly dressed Puritans nearly 400 years ago or even the events that allegedly occurred that day. Today, we celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving Day with lots of food and tons of materialistic goodies.

Everyone is full of food and ready to sleep the rest of the day off—which is good because the next day starts at midnight. Yes, Black Friday. Sure, Black Friday started with good intentions: sales before the shopping season for Christmas, the high holy day of materialism. But Black Friday has become a selfish—and even fatal—trap that consumes the lives of half the American population each post-Thanksgiving day. The tradition began around 1975 and has since become center of every pre-teenagers’ excitement and every mother’s nightmare. Stores that once opened early in the morning began pushing their hours earlier and earlier, jumping from 5 a.m. to 4 a.m. and then leaping to midnight within the last decade.

Black Friday is dangerous. Even the name sounds scary. “Black Friday,” in fact, never seems to represent anything pleasant in history. Any single day referred to as “Black Friday” usually pertains to a military attack or financial crisis. The American Black Friday tops all. The rush has become so intense and violent that deaths have been occurring in recent years. In fact, if the current trend of deaths each Black Friday continues — and crazy baby daddies continue shooting each other in front of Toys ‘R Us — everyone in the country will have died by Black Friday 2016. I guess that means by 2015, only the sane people will be left and Black Friday will be obsolete. But this holiday is even beginning to affect the placid Canadians who innocently slip across the border for discounts on hockey gear, maple syrup and whatever else Canadians buy in November. As a response to this tragic loss in profit, Canadian stores are beginning to start their own sales to keep their own kind within their borders. And so the disease spreads.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like dying to get still-more-than-I-should-probably-be-paying prices on things I don’t really need. Instead, I plan to participate in Buy Nothing Day. And sure, you can celebrate more intensely by doing a sit-in, a protest march, a Whirl-Mart congo line of empty carts, or even a Zombie walk where you freak out shoppers, but I don’t really feel like adding to the chaos. I think it’s more fun to just kick back with those leftovers, let the crazies take themselves out and see how many gifts I get when the survivors finally trickle home later in the day. And for none of that do I really give thanks.

Kayla loves to travel the world alone and experience new things in places that most people avoid like the Plague, all the while dreaming of the day her cats will decide to tag along and go somewhere more interesting than their litter box.

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