I’m a stay-at-home mom who works part time as an ESL teacher. On my way home from work, I stopped at Smith’s to grab groceries. What I found were Christmas decorations and candy. After checking out, I left the parking lot and saw the City of Orem had also decided to decorate by lighting up their trees on the corner of State Street and Center Street. I love Christmas; it takes me back. But I also love Thanksgiving, and I’m disappointed that grocery stores decorate for Christmas five days after Halloween, and have taken steps to fast-forward over an important holiday. Thanksgiving was established in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War. He believed that since America continued to experience so much prosperity, it was appropriate to establish a time to acknowledge that blessing. He states, “I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
Despite the religiosity of his announcement, all can feel gratitude to whatever being they consider God. There have been controversial ideas surrounding Thanksgiving as well, but it is still the most community building, family and friend strengthening holiday in our nation. Thanksgiving invites us to ponder gratitude when so much of our lives is focused on consumption. I like to think of it as a holiday from "The Holidays."
While I am aware we live in a free country, where people are at liberty to do something as trivial as decorate or offer holiday treats, I invite any who have the power to do so, to refrain from bringing on the Christmas holidays prematurely. It will benefit our pocketbooks, it will benefit our children who grow more entitled, it will give us time to bask in thoughts and actions of gratitude, and will cause us to savor the Christmas season when it eventually does arrive.
Christine McCollum, Orem