By Ray Knapp

Having finished off the last of the Thanksgiving Turkey today, I finally took note that merchants had paid it little notice and jumped right into Christmas ads the day after Halloween. Except for something which used to be called Black Friday, little attention was paid to the day of Thanksgiving. Turkeys did go on sale a day or two before then, but that was about it. Now, with the mother of all sales (Christmas—the real reason for Black Friday) looming before us; what is a person to do? Suddenly that 55 inch TV is too small, as a 75 inch becomes a real necessity when the price tag falls below a thousand bucks … that’s a lot less than some smartphones.

Speaking of smartphones, now it isn’t necessary for Dad to take a shave and shower, as his clever wife has already ordered groceries; paid with a tap to the phone, and as her befuddled husband is still babbling something about changing clothes, she drives away from the store with the groceries already placed neatly in the back of the car in reusable grocery bags by a friendly clerk. Men! What do you need them for; the smug look on her face belies what’s on her mind as she waves a good-bye thank you to the clerk.

Once home, and after lugging in the groceries and putting them away, as his wife texts away, with witty shares, snap-chats, posts, and tweets to friends and strangers alike on that expensive smartphone, he turns to a little round device sitting on an end table in a separate room. “Alexa,” he says, “How do you murder a wife and get away with it?” Men are not actually as dumb and unobservant as TV commercials would have you believe.

That question to Alexa, was of course, just a pun. However, the commercials portraying men as intellectually inferior to women is not. The reason being, women spend more money than men on everyday items such as food, clothing and such. No wonder advertisers cater to them. Research shows that shopping is empowering, fulfilling and therapeutic for women.

Men, on the other hand, prefer to stick to the basics and shop for what is necessary. They know what they want and rarely change their minds at the point of purchase. They are not willing to spend much time and effort on shopping. No wonder advertisers put them down; they apparently want to change the shopping habits of men to be more like a woman, where they will spend more.

It hasn’t always been that way; in fact a lot of things have changed during my lifetime. For instance the doors to churches, most any church, were never locked, so parishioners could come to church and pray anytime. … I received an invitation today from Church Mutual Insurance Company inviting me to a live seminar in Knoxville titled, “Preparing for an Armed Intruder,” which shows the warning sign before a violent event occurs and how to keep your people safe if faced with an armed intruder. Mass shootings at any “soft-target” seem to be the order of the day. We hear about it on a near weekly basis, at schools, churches, nightclubs; cars or trucks being purposely driven onto crowded sidewalks for the express purpose of killing people.

Sometimes I think most of us ponder about the uncivility, and apparent lack of care for human life that don’t just happen way over yonder, but threatens our very neighborhoods, schools, churches and shopping malls.

Maybe it’s because greed has pushed the meaning of Thanksgiving Day into nothing less than a shopping frenzy. Maybe it’s because Jesus is no longer the reason for the season; Christmas is just a holiday where kids get presents; are out of school for 2 weeks; parents, at least some of them, have an extra day or two off work.

Maybe it is time we turned back the clock where a man and his wife were portrayed as having equal intelligence and loved one another; where Thanksgiving and Christmas were still days close to our heart and family, and God still mattered.