The name says it all. Thanksgiving.
With a name that obvious, it is hard to misinterpret what the meaning is of this holiday really is.
Yet it is easy to read this word as "watch the Macy's parade before you sit down to stuff your face with lots of food while watching football (or that dog show) and awkwardly talking to distant relatives who you do not really know but for some reason must talk to out of a sense of obligation from your mother/grandmother". That definition is straight from Websters. Go check. I'll wait.
So maybe that description is just my interpretation, but maybe your expectations or experiences are similar.
As I eat the turkey and green bean casserole, all I can think about is laying out my "attack list" for tomorrow mornings shopping spree. The food is great, but Thanksgiving is simply a warm up to the real holiday. Black Friday.
It may not be recognized as a holiday by the US Government, but on my calendar, it is clearly marked months in advance with an "!" signifying the importance of this special day where I join hundreds of other people to wake up at hours reserved for deep sleep to stand in the freezing cold simply to save a few bucks on a new TV or electronic item. It has always puzzled me how we cannot find the energy to get to work or class on time in a climate controlled space and starts much later than an early morning Black Friday shopping spree, yet we are more than willing to freeze for hours and even pay for the chance to do it! This defies logic, but I love it.
Black Friday is the one day a year I have an excuse to be at Walmart at 4 am in a large jacket and ski mask and not have the cops called on me. It does not work any other day of the year.
In all seriousness, please do not let the consumerism of Black Friday overshadow the quality time you have the ability to spend with your family this Thanksgiving. Whatever your traditions are, do them like this could be the last time they will happen. Most of all, have fun with the people you care the most about. Soak up the environment and store the memory deep in your mind. You will look back on all of it fondly many years from now.