It’s about our money that we give to Wal Mart, Amazon, Target, Macy’s, the others. They, in turn, bought stuff, from the Chinese, among others. They spent vast fortunes to acquire these things. They recoup their outlay and a little something extra for their trouble, costs and profit. Thus the great cycle of commerce completes itself.

By now, the disassociation with the Christian Holy Day of the Solemnity of The Nativity is almost complete. The Santa Claus Myth prevails. It is childish, naive, uncomplicated, readily dispensible once the child reaches seven or eight, and readily grasped again once these children grow up to become parents or aunts or uncles themselves. Another cycle completes itself.

What is stifled by Black Friday is that modest holiday of gratitude, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving isn’t particularly Christian; gratitude for God’s blessings is present in the Christian world view, but that “attitude of gratitude” is part of many other spiritual traditions. Just the idea of being quiet and humble and grateful requires not a grand display of agricultural abundance but a grateful heart. We need to be quietly thankful for that sophisticated society that connects us all and gets food to our tables. Acknowledging our interconnectedness forces us to drop our pretences of selfishness, self-sufficiency and independence. We get by in this world because we work with people we don’t particularly care for.

Humility, Quiet, Gratitude.