When I was growing up and well into adulthood, Thanksgiving was a day with a unique value. Marketers mostly waited until the day after Thanksgiving to start playing jingle bells and other songs that obscure the real meaning of Christmas.
A few years ago, Christmas decorations started near Halloween and now commercials for stuff began appearing before Thanksgiving. Some stores announced sales starting tonight and others are opening at 3 and 4 a.m. tomorrow morning.
In this recession, merchants need to sell more stuff and earlier than ever before. But stuff doesn't make us happy. If it did, we would be the happiest people on earth because we have more stuff than anyone. Part of this is the growing secularization where thanking God is as ancient as the Pilgrims.
Thank God anyway, you who know Him. Keep Thanksgiving special. It is uniquely American and no one can take it away from us except we, ourselves, if we let them. Happy Thanksgiving.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.