Daily Sun News Editorial

Whatever happened to giving thanks?


For the last several years, commercialization has taken over Thanksgiving. What once was a day to eat turkey, watch football and fall asleep in your recliner has given way to Christmas shopping.

Here in Sunnyside last night, thousands of shoppers walked off their calories at the local Walmart store. Many shoppers stood in line for hours for a television, FitBit, laptop or other electronic and household items. The lineup began by 4 p.m., with barely enough time to sleep off some the effects of our excessive meals.

Whatever happened to giving thanks for all that we have in our first-world lives?

As Americans, you’d have to be hiding under a rock deep in the mountains to not know Black Friday was coming. But many didn’t see it coming Thursday after our Thanksgiving dinner, or even Wednesday, the day before we sat down to eat.

Gone are the days of watching the Macy’s Day Parade. Instead, young and old alike spend much of their Thanksgiving thumbing though Black Friday advertising, looking for that deal they can’t live without.

And gone are the days where we spend the Friday after Thanksgiving trudging through the snow in the mountains to find that perfect Christmas tree to add to our living rooms.

While many people say it’s retailers’ fault that Black Friday shopping has supplanted Thanksgiving traditions, we believe to the contrary — it’s the fault of shoppers.

If we truly long for having that day of giving thanks, enjoying the company of family members, sleeping off Thanksgiving dinner and watching football, we have to be willing to just say no to shopping on Thanksgiving. From the lines at the local stores last night and today, it doesn’t look like Lower Yakima Valley residents are willing to do that.

That’s unfortunate.

Years from now, our families — and especially our children — will not remember that TV purchase on Thanksgiving day or that clothing special this morning. And neither will they have the memory of a traditional family get-together. And with the loss of those traditions will go the loss of the meaning of Thanksgiving.

So we’ll be asking again, whatever happened to giving thanks.


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