Once upon a time, people thanked God for what they had. Every day was filled with prayers of thanksgiving and everything they had was cherished and shared with others so that everyone would benefit.
Then, one day, someone told us we could have more. We forgot to be thankful and spent all of our time striving for more than we had the day before. Nations were built and empires spread; we knew we would not have what God gives us, but what we give ourselves.
One day, a great war broke out; the nation was divided. Whenever a battle was won, the victorious side had a day of thanksgiving. Then the president had an idea, “What if we had one day to give thanksgiving as a single nation. Instead of thinking about our blessings from above, we could be thankful for those founders that came before us who built this great nation.” His side won the war, and the whole nation gave thanks to our nation on a single day.
Over the years, people became disillusioned about the country and what they had been told about its greatness. They started to believe again that what they had was not a gift from God or a country, but their own hard work. The companies told the people that they should reward their hard work and the day after declaring what they were thankful for they should go out and buy things that they didn’t have the day before.
People began to get more and more excited about buying things they didn’t need, and hording things things they didn’t know they wanted. All of the things they declared their thanks for no longer held appeal in their eyes.
The people demanded to know what they wanted before they arrived at the stores, so the companies filled their mailboxes and driveways with advertisements on the very day that people were supposed to be thankful. No one had time to pray and think about what they had, their day was now consumed coveting the things they saw in pictures and they dreamed of the day to come.
Then one day, the companies reminded the world that the day legally begins at midnight, and that their time of thanksgiving should end at 11:59:59pm. People now spent their mornings coveting, their afternoons eating, and their evenings sleeping, lest they lose the energy to shop.
As the years went by the companies, and the people, wanted more. Thanksgiving had giving way to coveting, and the people couldn’t wait until midnight to feed their desires. The shopping would now begin the night that was once part of Thanksgiving day, after all, people had formally just been preparing during this time anyway.
So we stood at the dawn of a new century ready to pounce on new things, instead of kneeling for those that we already had.
We bought and we bought and filled our homes with things. We discarded thanksgiving altogether because of our lust for new things. We lined up at the stores and rushed the doors. We trampled anyone who got in our way.
So it came to pass, we traded thanksgiving for materials. We hoarded the newest and the best. We spent all of our money on things we didn’t even need know we needed the day before. We did it all in the name of the holy day to come, the day when we celebrated the birth of He who said, “sell everything you have and follow me.”