In my previous blog post I shared a sentiment that there’s nothing inherently bad about Black Friday. And I stand by my conclusions for families that bond over shopping experiences, and are financially responsible in finding the best deals for which they can use to bless their loved ones with holiday gifts. However, for those of us who are grateful we don’t have to leave the comfort of our homes on Thanksgiving and bargain hunt until tomorrow, it’s the Puritans to which we should be thankful.
Maine is one of just 3 states that have preserved Thanksgiving Day from the onslaught of Black Friday consumerism. It’s no coincidence that the other 2 states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, are both also New England states. “Why”, you ask? Because the reason major retail and grocery stores remain closed on Thanksgiving is a remnant from the New England-based Puritan-inspired “Blue Laws”.
So, as Mainers relax on this Thanksgiving Day and attempt to spend quality time with their families and friends among the “peace” of dinner table debates and professional football, let’s remember the Puritans.
Most importantly, for all the negative press the Puritans have received in the American psyche (remember the hypocritical puritan minister from “The Scarlet Letter”?), they sure knew how to honor God and give thanks to what truly matters. On that note, allow me to leave you with this Thanksgiving Prayer from The Puritans (abridged) —
O my God,
…I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
for adorning it, sanctifying it,
though it is fixed in barren soil;
for the body thou hast given me,
for preserving its strength and vigour,
for providing senses to enjoy delights,
for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding,
for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
for a full table and overflowing cup,
for appetite, taste, sweetness,
for social joys of relatives and friends,
for ability to serve others,
for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love thee above the powers of language
for what thou art to thy creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time
The above is a shortened version of a prayer from a volume of Puritan prayers entitled The Valley of Vision.
Happy Thanksgiving from The Puritans, and enjoy the day home with your families!