Less Turkey, more buying? A question to our so-called traditional American Thanksgiving Value.
Traditionally speaking, Thanksgiving day is suppose to be a celebration with family and friends gathering round the table of food with the turkey at the center.
The day of celebration marks itself as the beginning of the year’s end, and a day where everyone gathers round each other to take the time to give thanks for all the hard work they’ve contributed together so to share in the current feast.
I suppose this picture or myth still holds true to most families in America – or at least that’s what I was taught to believe in the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday when I was in elementary school.
As an adult, I’ve become more discriminate and skeptical about my early learning of what the Thanksgiving holiday event means.
Like the Thanksgiving holiday the year before, and perhaps many Thanksgivings prior to my awareness as an adult, the Thanksgiving holiday appears to be a signal that lures potential consumers to get themselves ready for the day after the feast for the annually department sale known as Black Friday. A day where hundreds of thousands of potential consumers line up and camp outside the department store just to get a share of their items in a marked down price.
While most people in this country spend thousands or even millions of dollars on stocked item goods – the last thing on their mind would be to take some time or maybe a few extra dollars and give it the less fortunate ones.
The Thanksgiving American holiday myth seems almost ironic because the holiday encourages giving and sharing, yet right after the holiday, somehow the sentimental effects wears off and people become instant consumers and become only interested in their own ambition in getting what they want for the following winter holiday which is Christmas.
With the current unemployment rate at 12.4% in Los Angeles since October 2010, up 2% compared to last October, it’s difficult to imagine how people can still go about in spending money on electronic gadgets, toys, or other goods while there are people who are still trying to make ends meet.
So this brings me to question our consumption morals. Where do we begin to draw a line that helps balance our consumption rate versus our general charitable welfare for others who are less fortunate? Isn’t Thanksgiving and the day following after it, based on the practice of the continuation of giving and sharing? Or has this so called traditional value become outdated and I’m now living merely in the past with all the other American myths and its ideologies?