Thankful for the gift of time

ELINOR TATUM Publisher and Editor in Chief | 11/28/2011, 4:32 p.m.
When guidance counselors need to care

Happy thanksgiving and welcome to the holiday season!

The seasonal madness has begun as thousands of workers are being forced to open the doors of major retailers before their Thanksgiving turkey has even settled in their stomachs.

Some retailers are opening as early as 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, while other have deemed it appropriate to wait until the stroke of midnight to open their holiday doors. This is just insanity. Why is it that for decades we could wait until 9 a.m. on Friday morning to go shopping for holiday gifts, but now this race for cheap prices has taken us out of our houses on one of the most family-oriented days on the American calendar?

As one television character put it on a recent episode, "Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is not about presents."

Yet we now have people leaping from the dinner table to rush out to be first in line to get the goods.

Why are we in such a rush to buy things? Have we gotten so materialistic that we have really forgotten what the holiday season is about? I think so.

We give each other the greatest gift on Thanksgiving, and that is the gift of each other. Yes, I know not all families get along, but they do share a history, and Thanksgiving is the time to set aside all that has come between you in the past and sit down together at the table and break bread. It is the gift of time that we give one another.

That extra hug and that extra minute of attention matter, because who knows who will still be at the table next year. We hope that the same faces will grace us and maybe some additions, but one never knows what hand the fates may deal. Therefore, it is important to spend that time we have with one another; tell our family and friends that we love them and cherish them.

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all that you have and a time to forgive.

Time to put away all that animosity that you hold inside and time to see what great possibilities the future holds. It's time to open ourselves up and give the gift of time to our families. No material gift can ever replace that.

So as you sit around the holiday table, be thankful for the friends and family that surround you. If you are not near them and you are able, call them and tell them how much they mean to you. If you can't call them, send them a note telling them that you are thinking about them, and when you have the chance to be with them, don't let it slip through your hands. Be thankful for that time and use it wisely, because tomorrow is not promised to anyone.