I enjoyed the annual Thanksgiving holiday dinner with various family members. I realized, once again, how truly blessed I am. I have three brothers and a sister and their families, as well as my mother, in close proximity. I am so fortunate to have had a large number of people (17 including me) together to share this family day and traditional meal. I cooked the turkey and a few of the side dishes while the rest of the family brought some particular specialties from their own homes to the table.
My youngest nephews—now two and four—were in constant motion, seeming to have an endless energy supply. I couldn’t find the plugs to disconnect or the batteries to remove in order to slow them down. Oh to be so young again!
That night, after everyone had left, I watched the news on TV. I was disheartened to hear about the various stores that were now starting the Black Friday shopping madness on Thanksgiving Day itself—calling it Grey Thursday, in some instances.
More upsetting to me were those people who decided to forgo time spent with family and friends to begin to camp out or stand in line in order to be early enough to get some advertised bargain. I worry whenever we start to put material things ahead of family, friendships and relationships. People should certainly be more important than things, as far as I am concerned.
I write this column on what they now call Cyber Monday. Do you see some sort of unending pattern here? I’m waiting for a Thrifty Tuesday, What-About-Wednesday or Super-Shoppers Saturday sale to begin shortly! (How’s that for alliteration?)
Advent starts this weekend. I ponder once again whether or not this season of preparation for the Birth of Christ will make a difference to most people. Why do we have to come up with slogans like Keep Christ in Christmas in order to remind us of something that should be so obvious?
I attempt to do my part to keep things in proper perspective. My annual Christmas shopping remains almost non-existent, except for a few toy Hess trucks for my youngest nephews.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the economy will be helped by my purchases. But perhaps my spiritual life and my soul might be.
Fr. Ed Namiotka