I believe that Walmart is one of the seven wonders of our time. At least, in my life it is. Most any item can be purchased no matter what category it resides in. Choose a need, find the sign, follow the arrow, look down the aisle, and 99 percent of people find what their looking for! (The other 1 percent dont end up very happy, so we wont go into their experience).
A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through this marvelous store with my Dad, when in the middle aisle, we see a large stack of miscellaneous Halloween decorations. I was not surprised or startled by this, because it was all on clearance after the holiday had passed. So, Dad and I kept walking. Next, we passed the toddler clothes, which I find adorable and entertaining. Orange and black shirts with Trick or Treat logos hung on the racks closest to us, displaying their bargain prices. Further on, there were new additions to the department of clothes with the same type of option Naughty or Nice.
I was not surprised at this because it is usual to push Christmas long before the 25th. However, the green and red streamers that adorned the toy aisle reminded me of all the I wants that would soon be flooding our lives.
When I mentioned our being overtaken with the commercial items of Halloween and then Christmas, my Dad mentioned, Halloween is much bigger than it was when I was a kid. I wasnt surprised. This change my Dad mentioned could be explained by stores wanting more sales for events, or we could blame it on our consumer mindset.
However, what Walmart did not mention was what was missing for the 1 percent of people that might walk into Walmart searching for the forgotten holiday: The one with the brown colors, the bright turkeys, and the big appetites. The one that celebrates not how much sugar we can get from our neighbors or how many presents are under the tree, but how much gratefulness we share for what we already have.
And what do we tell these people who might come looking for what the stores do not have? That the stores do not want to make money from another holiday? That would not make sense. No, truly, the problem lies deeper than that. There is only a supply if there is a demand. We have forgotten that we ought to be thankful.
We are not entitled to candy and presents, we are gifted them. We are not deserving of the child that came to a stable to save our souls. We are not being generous to our children when we give those treats and gifts and forget to mention that the best part of a gift is appreciating the person who gives it.
I wonder when our culture left Thanksgiving behind. Was it when families started falling apart and relatives getting together became harder than since the time of a carts and horses? Maybe when greed took over our lives and we became selfish and careless. Perhaps it happened after many Americans denied the existence of someone to be thankful to.
Im not trying to assume that once upon a time in a land far, far away, everything was perfect and people lived exactly as God intended them too. The pilgrims werent perfect; our parents werent raised in paradise; even our grandparents lived in a less than blissful time.
And yet, they were thankful. Before air-conditioning, before the computer I am typing on, before television to watch the football game people were thankful. Even without all this modern technology, they still gave thanks to God for what they had. Family, life, even the air we breathe is a gift.
Thanksgiving should not be a holiday that comes and goes; it should be a celebration of the One who gives us these gifts. Thanksgiving should be a reminder that no matter what the advertisements say, nothing that we can buy will bring us happiness. Greed will not fill our hearts; it only makes the hole deeper.
The gifts God has given us are worth so much more. They offer us peaceful contentment, true joy, and fulfilling love. Where are the outfits that say, Full and Thankful because most (if not all) Americans should be both. Anyone know of a Walmart shirt with that message?
(Editors Note: Kaitlyn Kilpatrick is 16-years-old and resides in Newcomerstown.)