With the conclusion of Halloween just two weeks ago, people are already gearing up for Christmas. But have we forgotten about Thanksgiving? Not the holiday itself, but the true meaning of it. I argue that, as a whole, we have.

Thanksgiving is a day celebrated in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday in November. Historically, it’s an observance of the the colonial Pilgrims’ harvest meal in 1621. For Americans, it’s a day of family, feasting, and football. It used to be a holiday where we spent time breaking bread with our families and truly giving thanks for our blessings. Is that still part of the tradition, or have traditions changed?

Black Friday or Black Thursday?

I remember being a teenager. After a Thanksgiving day filled with food, spending time with family and watching some football, I’d get a few hours of sleep. Around 4 in the morning, Mom would wake me up to go Black Friday shopping. We’d already eaten; we’d already spent precious time with the family, and after all that, we’d shop ’til we dropped, looking for the best Black Friday deals we could find: Walmart, Target, K-Mart, J. C. Penny. And we’d come home with some really great gifts!

For the past years, going back to about 2013, Black Friday hours have been pushed up earlier and earlier. So early that people can barely digest their Thanksgiving meal before heading out in the crowds. Black Friday used to be the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, but this has drastically changed. Stores are now enticing customers to, in a way, give up their Thanksgiving for what are advertised as unbeatable doorbuster deals. Has Thanksgiving become the redheaded step-holiday?

Thanksgiving Traditions

It seems as though many Thanksgiving family traditions have gone from spending time at home to spending time in a line instead. Are the “deals” truly worth it? Years ago, when my mom was waking me up at 4 a.m. Black Friday morning, we were able to get almost all of our holiday shopping done. So why do stores insist on taking away from our Thanksgiving?

What we need back is the true meaning of the holiday. We need to spend quality time with our families, not in someone’s line. Let’s show our families that we love and care for them while they are here. Too many loved ones are lost each year, and the possessions one can purchase in stores could never replace the love of one’s family.

Black Friday should stick to the actual day it should be, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving. And give us back our holiday!

Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments!