Turkeys with embedded meat thermometers are a long way from the scrawny turkeys of the 17th century feast of thanksgiving. It was not long before the modest harvest feast began to morph into an excess-mass with four story rubber turkeys stalking the canyons of Manhattan.
Someone has held that in Jerusalem Christianity was a movement; in Rome a religion; in Europe a culture and in American a business. That being the case, all we hold dear veers toward commerce. So it is natural and, in the minds of some, a good thing that holy-days are filled with commercial frenzy. The moneychangers are always ready to open a local office in the Temple.
When we deplore the commercialization of Holy Days we have met the franchise and we own the stock. If seductive bargains are irresistible we should at least have the moral fiber to not deplore the situation between bites of mashed potatoes.
A brighter Black Friday will require our considering just what these days mean. As Saint Paul wrote, “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”– but not everything is constructive. (I Corinthians 10:23 NIV)
We have some choices to make: join the frantic business of the culture or sit with those we love. By choosing less we receive more. I suspect that our souls and perhaps even our wallets will thank us.