I was just reading a few blog entries on being thankful when I came across Chris' over at From the Pavement's Edge titled Scrooge You! In it he decries the ever encroaching commercialization and creep of Christmas Consumerism that is encroaching on and taking over one of the Simplest and purest holidays of the year - Thanksgiving. I have to say I agree with him on this point. The meaning of Christmas is getting lost in the consumerism that is being promoted through all of the big Box retailers trying to fatten their bottom lines by making us feel we need to buy buy buy to give to those we love. Its gotten so bad that they have started opening on Thanksgiving day and not waiting until the day after, essentially erasing this holiday for so many who have to work.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we have and be thankful for it. A time for family and friends to gather and just revel in the company of others by sharing good food. Its not a break from work for the majority just so they can get to the stores and spend more money faster.
It may be that I am getting older and wiser, or as my daughter and wife seem to think older and grumpier, but to me the idea of Thanksgiving is being lost, as is the meaning of Christmas. No where does it say that there has to be mounds of presents for the children. No where does it say we have to spend and spend and spend until it hurts to buy more crap that is quickly forgotten by the next holiday. For me the most wonderful gifts are those that come from the heart. For me spending time with family and friends and sharing common experiences far outweighs the 'stuff' that everyone seems to think they can't live without.
I am thankful for my family and my friends. I am thankful we are all in mostly good health and that we have enough to eat and roofs over our heads. I am thankful to my employer that they provide me with a job which gives me the means to keep these things in their proper way.
I am thankful that I have the ability and the opportunity to ride my bike and to do so at various events which in some small way help others whether its through the Tour De Cure, LVESTRONG, BIKE:MS or Viva Bike Vegas. I hope to be able to do more of these types of charity rides in the future.
I am thankful for my grandchildren and how watching them grow and learn helps me to grow and learn as well by seeing the world through their eyes.
I am thankful for all the men and women who are serving and have served in our armed forces to keep us safe and protect our freedoms that we too often take for granted. These are mere words which pale in the light of what many have given to protect us, but thank you.
So take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on all we have to be thankful for.
Eat some good food with family and friends.
Ride your bike.