I may have mentioned this before, but this week celebrates my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving. Not only do I enjoy the chance to gather with all my family and loved ones to share a meal, but the holiday illustrates for me one of the main ideals that the business of agriculture is founded upon – producing food.
That’s why it pains me to see Thanksgiving Day disappear a little more each year from the nation’s collective mindset. For several years now, it seems as if more and more people have gone from celebrating Halloween at the end of October to Christmas shopping on the so-called Black Friday, skipping over Thanksgiving Day entirely in the process. Indeed, many folks in my neighborhood have already put up their outdoor Christmas decorations (in some cases, intermixing them with leftover Jack O’ Lanterns and witches from Halloween) on their lawns.
Today, it seems as if Black Friday has taken over the lead spot on many people’s weekly checklist. But the reported busiest day of the shopping year isn’t really a holiday. As columnist Bob Greene pointed out in a piece on Black Friday: “It celebrates nothing. It commemorates only itself.”
This is why I plan to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive in my household as long as possible. Working to cover the agricultural marketplace as I do, I’m keenly aware that this industry has a lot to be thankful for in 2012, not the least of which is successfully weathering a severe nationwide drought and enjoying record levels of incomes, from the grower-customers to ag retailers themselves.
Come this Thursday, these are the thoughts that will be going through my mind. And I won’t be thinking about how many deals I can score by leaving my family and friends behind to brave massive crowds on a merchandise-spawned holiday. There will be time for that later on, once I’ve given proper thanks . . .