Every year I post this. Respect for the most sacred American holiday, Thanksgiving, seems to be on the rise. But we still have far too many stores open, too many people are forced to work. Black Friday? It can be a family adventure and maybe a lot of fun. But Thanksgiving needs to be a day apart – and until it is I will keep posting this every year.
‘Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems,
That the holiday season was crafted from dreams.
There were visions of friendship and light through the land
As if darkness itself had been thoroughly banned.
But the times closed around as the blackness enveloped
And the victory of dark very slowly developed.
There were candles and garlands and songs from a choir
With plenty of cocoa and snacks by a fire.
There was magic created by the soft reminisce
And the deepest desire to turn dark into bliss.
Through the season of hope and the quick shortening day
There was plenty of cheer keeping darkness at bay.
Very slowly it happened, though no one is sure
How the simplest of instincts picked up the allure.
But the giving of presents, small statements of love,
Turned from joyous to something, well, ugly … sort of
A contest, it seems, a strange kind of a test
To see whose affections were somehow the best.
The season of lightness and just being lazy
Became a mad rush that got horribly crazy.
There were presents to buy for the kids and the spouse
And dozens of gadgets to brighten the house.
So the running began, keeping everyone busy
And never a moment to stop feeling dizzy.
That’s when the blackness appeared at the start,
That’s when the darkness took root at the heart.
As the nights became longer, the season arrived
And the madness of rushing was slowly contrived
To a day, just one day, full of madness and tension
With a name that betrayed its beguiling intention.
Black Friday, they called it, and hyped up the scene
With ads running constant on each TV screen.
They printed up ads, stuffed each paper with stacks
Of glossy productions proclaiming in black,
“One day only! You simply must hurry
Or you will regret you missed out on the flurry!”
And the crowds, oh the crowds, yes, they came and they pushed
Risking safety and lives if they ever were smooshed
By the madness, the frenzy, the deep carnal cravings
To see who could brag up the largest of savings.
But the darkness, though clearly and deeply impressed
Was not going to settle for one day of mess.
The rush was expanded, set back several hours
To midnight, when dark has the height of its powers.
Then over the top, several days in a row
As the darkness enveloped and started to grow.
For the people who fueled it never relaxed
Would soon find their credit was hopelessly maxed.
They added more hours, working harder and longer,
And the pull of the darkness would only get stronger.
With kids stuck in day care and largely unseen,
The families were pulled, ripping up at the seams.
The dark only grew, sucking up all the light,
And the season fell deep in the blackness of night.
When it finally collapsed it was almost relief
For the hold of the darkness had no time for grief.
All the money was owed to some far distant lands
Who measured out tiring incessant demands
So the shuffle continued, not time for the season,
As lightness and loafing was something like treason.
That’s how the light became conquered by dark,
That’s how the blackness extinguished the spark
Which once glowed inside and then shone like the day
Bursting out through night, keeping darkness at bay.
And the season of light now exhausted and spent
Became only darkness, a time to resent.
Though the darkness is strong, it’s easy to fight –
It only requires your love and your light.
One single candle, flick’ring off a bright smile
Rekindles the season in elegant style.
And the rushing great madness, the sales at the stores,
Is something that lightness itself just ignores.
Though darkness has power that tempts and excites,
It’s kept far away by the smallest of lights.