As the recession has crushed the retail market in the past few years, stores have been pushing the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier in an attempt to stay in the black. (The term Black Friday is based on the fact that stores used to count on the day after Thanksgiving to get them out of the red for the year and into the black, making a profit.) In New York City, the 34th Street Macy's had its display windows decked out for Christmas before Halloween, and giant holiday ads have been up for weeks in Times Square.
Thanksgiving has almost been swallowed whole by the Christmas Money-Generating Machine, but it's more important than ever to take it back. As the country muddles through a difficult economic time, focusing on a holiday that transcends religious difference and is about being thankful can only be a good thing. Thanksgiving is about gratefulness for what we already have, whereas Christmas, as wonderful as it can be, has also become about anticipating what we will receive.
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