The placement of Black Friday on our calendar is ironic. It falls right after Thanksgiving—the one day a year where we get to be especially intentional about gratitude.
We’re encouraged to remember what we have, to express thankfulness for blessings and to slow down and enjoy God’s gracious gifts.
But in recent years, Thanksgiving seems to have become more of a partial holiday. With the pressures of our wish lists and the fast-approaching Christmas season, our Black Friday shopping sprees have spilled over into Thanksgiving afternoons. Suddenly, our 24-hour Thursday is practically sliced in half to usher in Black Friday’s time-sensitive, must-have deals.
As a result, instead of spending Thanksgiving evening together, many American families are rushing out to beat Black Friday crowds, battle other shoppers for the best deals and stand in check-out lines to claim their discounted gifts.
Although Black Friday is the cornerstone of most holiday shopping, many people are beginning their Christmas shopping long before and even during Thanksgiving. CNBC, a leading news outlet, said in one article, “Even though retailers are offering deals earlier and earlier each holiday season, resulting in a ‘Christmas creep,’ Black Friday is still expected to be the busiest shopping day of 2018.”
It’s true—the Christmas season does seem to sneak up soon after Thanksgiving break. And it’s no secret that most college students have limited financial resources. That’s partially why Black Friday deals are so appealing.
But let’s not be too quick to allow our desire to save a few dollars diminish our Thanksgiving sentiments. All semester long, our Student Leadership Council has been directing our focus to gratitude. Over and over again, our student body has been encouraged to give thanks for what God has done in our lives, what He is now doing and what He’s promised to do.This Thanksgiving season should just be a crescendo of the things we’ve learned thus far.
God has taken care of us, and we can thank Him for opportunities—like Black Friday—to be financially responsible with the resources He’s given us. As Psalm 106:1 says, “Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Whatever your shopping plans may be for next week and whenever you’re planning to snatch some good holiday deals, spend some time thanking God for what you do have. Enjoy the chance to slow down and give thanks to God for His goodness.