Black Friday is a Friday Thing.

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Welcome to Thanksgiving. It’s the holiday where we join with friends and family to eat, give gratitude and buy big-screen TVs. Black Friday has turned into a day that is much bigger than Thanksgiving. The joy that came with the Thanksgiving holiday has long since been erased by the time Black Friday approaches.

Lucky for all you adrenaline junkies, many companies including Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target will be opening 6 p.m. Thanksgiving evening. The idea of hundreds of people storming a store often brings the mind to survival mode, rather than a joyous shopping trip. Black Friday has become a competitive race, facing new challenges this upcoming holiday season.

I am not so thankful for the interruption of this rambunctious shopping day. Instead of losing family members to the close following of Black Friday online, I prefer to spend quality time together and share conversation. Searching for coupons and bargains specifically for Black Friday seems ridiculous, this is not the only day available to buy a discounted TV.

Contrast the interruption of the Black Friday fad with another more promising trend I’ve seen emerging in recent years: People listing on Facebook, in the days of November leading up to Thanksgiving, one thing they are grateful for each day. Instead of thinking about buying more stuff on Black Friday, these people are savoring the blessings and family they already have in their lives. And that’s a spirit we could use more of these days in our culture.

The American character has always been restless, driven and ambitious. Those kinds of traits drove the Pilgrims to stay here; the pioneers to seek new and farther lands; and the diverse waves of immigrants to continue to come from all over the world for a chance to experience the American Dream. It’s what’s made us a nation of hard-working and imaginative entrepreneurs. But if we are always focused on the next purchase, we’re working toward a series of ends in which we never allow ourselves to savor our achievements. More valuable than a big-screen TV is realizing what you currently have. That’s the gift everyone should give themselves this Thanksgiving night.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Katie Summitt at [email protected]

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