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In the commercial world in which we all live, the true meaning of Thanksgiving gets blurred more frequently with the retail noise of sales and spending. Many people take their loved ones for granted thinking they will always be there. One day they won’t. It could happen in the blink of an eye or over a prolonged period of time. So, Thanksgiving is a day to focus on those loved ones and spend the precious time we have with them.

The retailers will have you believe differently, but Thanksgiving is about spending time with your loved ones not racing around from store to store trying to get a bargain on some useless crap that will be thrown away in a year. It’s not about getting that one television being offered at a rock-bottom price just to get you into a store. How ridiculous it is to watch people camped out at the entrance of a store missing so much time they could be spending with family. It’s not worth it, not by a stretch.

When was the last time you told those closest to you how much you love them? It’s often taken for granted especially if you see them every day. But if they were gone in an instant, what would you wish you’d said to them? It’s always nice to periodically think about that and then remind those loved ones how much you do love them. It never gets old saying it.

How much do you really know about those loved ones? Have you asked lately what their dreams and desires are for the future or what is on their bucket list? In the daily rush of everyday life, we often forget to ask the simplest questions. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to step back from the daily routine and to ask those simple but important questions.

Thanksgiving is also a time to remember those that are no longer with us. I will be thinking about my brother and father as well as those who are far flung and unable to be with us as we give thanks. It’s also a time to reflect not just on those not with us, but also how they are being remembered. How do you want to be remembered? Once we’re gone, we will only be memories to others and they will remember the good and the bad. Do your best to leave the greatest memories.

I wish you all a very joyous Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I hope you spend it with loved ones enjoying time with family and friends. Skip the racing out to stores on Black Friday. But if you feel compelled to buy something, just sneak over to the computer and make a few online purchases. Then get back to those most important to you. It really is all about family.

Originally published on The SCV Beacon