In the nearly 400 years since the first Thanksgiving, the holiday has come to mirror our transformation into a nation of gross overconsumption, but the New England colonists never intended for Thanksgiving to be a day of gluttony. They dished up restraint along with gratitude as a shared main course. What mattered most was not the feast itself, but the gathering together in thanks and praise for life’s most humble gifts. Perhaps this holiday season we could benefit from restoring a proper Thanksgiving balance between forbearance and indulgence.
Or as I wrote in the Hazleton Standard-Speaker in the summer of 2008, “We have spent the last quarter century living for the here and now, and we forgot to do what our ancestors taught us: Spend wisely, save prudently, care for the next generation, live a balanced life.”
What, then, is the lesson from the financial crisis for Christmas? What is the connection between this economic shortfall and our moral heritage? Please post your answer in the comments section below this post. (Yes, you can do so anonymously.) We will select the best answer to publish and add our own commentary one week from today.