The calendar has turned the page to the first of November, and that can only mean one thing: there’s another holiday looming on the horizon.  I’m thinking of Black Friday, of course.  The Thanksgiving holiday isn’t officially dead, but it’s been on life support for some time now.  Many Americans still manage to squeeze in a turkey dinner before heading to the mall, but most of us have long since abandoned any idea of a Thanksgiving season, an extended period in which to anticipate the holiday, reflect on its significance, and live out its meaning.  I’m convinced that our lives are the poorer for it, and I think some of you agree.  So while Amazon.com and other shapers of American values conduct their “countdown to Black Friday,” I’ll be conducting my own countdown to Thanksgiving (now better known as Black Friday Eve).  I think we have much to learn from the true story of the First Thanksgiving, and a great deal to learn as well from how that story has been remembered, imagined, and manipulated.

Tell your friends.


  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Break | The Pietist Schoolman

  2. Dr. McKenzie, that is so true. Thanksgiving is so important to us as Americans, and while it’s been somewhat commercial for years (football games, Macy’s Parade) only Black Friday could really secure a commercial meaning to it. We are the poorer for it, for the lack of thankfulness that holiday means, the lack of family gathering, and because the Pilgrim message has all but been lost to us.

  3. How tragic that the more “toys” we acquire the less thankful we are. As a culture we may be reverting back to childhood when, as I recall, we were far more concerned about what we got than what we gave. With maturity all the giving and getting fades and the true pleasure is the fellowship with people we love and who love us.

  4. Huzzah! Couldn’t agree more. I still remember as a kid how my family (parents and brother, but also aunts, cousins, etc. – a big Norwegian group primarily – always referred to “Thanksgiving Season”, topped off by Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother’s house. Dinner was always preceded by a prayer in English, and also an old Norwegian prayer. Something has definitely been lost.

  5. I look forward to reading your historical perspective about Thanksgiving!

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