2 December 2012
What Has Happened to the Holidays?
Pastor Jeff Kaputsa from Wilmington’s very own Life Point Church presented his sermon in the following way: “Many people in today’s society can fill in the following phrase: “It’s the most __________ time of the year.” When they hear this phrase, many minds think directly to the ever popular Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Is it really though? Is Christmas the “Most Wonderful Time” for every family...?” Many families have begun focusing on materialistic aspects of holidays that pop culture has only just begun associating with various holidays such as Thanksgiving, Halloween, New Year’s, Easter, and of course, the winter holidays including Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza. What are all of these holidays really supposed to represent? Parties and presents may be appreciated, but it is not okay for them to be the main focus of some of these holidays. Some may debate, but the main meaning of some of America’s most celebrated holidays is being lost. Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving for most people entails a tradition that adheres to the name directly. It is a day that people cease their worrying about materials and physical wants and focus on what they are thankful that they have. For many families, it also marks the countdown until Christmas, thus starting a new pop culture holiday: Black Friday. Black Friday began terming the day after thanksgiving in 1975 when there was a high volume of shoppers that allowed stores to produce profit or go “in the black”. Stores began utilizing this special day and opened earlier than usual and stayed open later. Before 2000, stores would open as early as six in the morning; however recently, stores have been opening earlier and earlier.
Stores began opening as early as midnight in 2011. Families and many people began crying out that stores were robbing them of their Thanksgiving. “A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day. By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!” (Sneed). Imagine their reaction when they learned this past year that Target opened at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day. Some gas stations even remained open throughout the entire holiday. Chick-fil-A, known for their family oriented values, had several locations such as the Davis Lake location in Charlotte, NC, that opened at midnight on Black Friday to gain the business of the Black Friday crowds.
Black Friday has had several violent outbreaks as well. In 2008 at one of New York’s Wal-Mart’s an employee died after shoppers pushed him to the ground and trampled him. Shoppers breached the doors at five in the morning and knocked him and his coworker over. “‘He was bum-rushed by 200 people,’ Jimmy Overby, the man's 43-year-old co-worker, told the New York Daily News. ‘They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too ... I literally had to fight people off my back’” (Associated Press). Shoppers are forgetting the true meaning of the holidays. They are being overtaken by greed and the desire to save a few dollars on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Only in America do we spend a day giving thanks for what we have, only to act like hypocrites the next day and hurt innocent people to buy more things. Halloween
All Saints Day, November 1st, although has had a much longer history than Halloween, has been overshadowed by this more revolutionary holiday. “According to some sources, the idea for All Saints' Day goes back to the fourth century when the Greek Christians kept a festival on the first Sunday after Pentecost (in late May or early...