What in the World Happened to Thanksgiving?

I don't know about you... but this year I've been extremely frustrated with how our culture is handling Thanksgiving. It seems like we've gotten into this escalating spiral where companies are so concerned about making money over the Christmas shopping season that they don't even treat Thanksgiving like it's own holiday... but just one small part of a massive Christmas marketing campaign.

I started getting irked when I turned on the radio the day after Halloween and heard Christmas music. Not only is starting Christmas music on Nov. 1 an overkill that waters-down any emotional impact these great spiritual hymns have on us… but it also serves notice that Thanksgiving has been swallowed up by an enormous two-month consumer-crazy Christmas season. Thanksgiving is now just a deal-finding holiday shopping weekend frenzy. Stores like Old Navy and Walmart are even staying open on Thanksgiving and offering special Thursday dealbusters. These companies have decided that that increasing revenue is so important that they are going to force their employees to work on the holiday and they are going to try and lure consumers away from time with family and friends so we can all acquire more "stuff."

Somehow I think that this is a far cry from what Abraham Lincoln intended when he established Thanksgiving as "day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens" and a day of humble prayers of forgiveness and a commitment to care for orphans and widows. Read the powerful proclamation here.

I hope that our little service here at SignUpGenius has allowed you to plan some great Thanksgiving events… events with family and friends that will allow you the time to reflect on the abundance of blessings we've been given and to recommit to the responsibilities that come with those blessings.

Personally, I have a ridiculous amount of spiritual, family, relational, and financial blessings that I will be giving thanks for. On behalf of SignUpGenius, I also want to express a quick thanks to all our fantastic site members who have been so incredibly kind to our site in the last year or two. In only a brief time we've grown from a service used by a few family and friends to over half a million visits per month! Thanks to all of you who have spread the word to friends, taken the time to write in suggestions, been gracious and understanding when we've had growing pains, and have become a little "community of planners" that we now consider our extended family.

Happy Thanksgiving.