I suppose when you stop to think about it, our traditional Thanksgiving celebrations don't much resemble those of the past--say, a hundred years ago. I imagine there are past generations who would despair of the Macy's parade and football games having become long~standing traditions of the day. Why are we not spending at least some part of the day in prayerful contemplation of our blessings? We long ago replaced the giving thanks part of "Thanksgiving" with testimonies to the things of 20th century importance--consumerism and sports worship.
It makes sense to consider the march of "progress" when you think to criticize the observance of very old holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. And you must take into account the tenor of the times, which just happens to be argumentative, disrespectful and as self-centered as possible at present. How can any day, any celebration carried out in the atmosphere of 21st-century America not be tainted by the swirling negativity that colors every aspect of our lives?
How, indeed, can a day that was meant to provide an opportunity to pause and reflect on the providence that has placed us where we are, on the pure grace bestowed upon us, be celebrated and appreciated in this "I got mine all by myself and screw you if you think I'm gonna help YOU" culture we inhabit?
Would it be too much to ask for the culture of gratitude to permeate more than Facebook posts? What if you could turn on the television or radio or walk down the street and be not merely aware of a spirit of thankfulness, but actually surrounded by it?
Not gonna happen, I know.
But wouldn't it be nice?