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The first cold snaps have finally found their way to Florida, Halloween and pumpkin-spice everything are being brushed out the back door and Christmas decorations and peppermint mochas are being ushered in. It's time for the holidays, Knights.

It's funny how the morning after Halloween stores seem to have magically stripped their Halloween decorations and gone ham with creating the winter wonderland atmospheres. All of the store ads are now filled with red or green and garnished with images of the snowflakes that we're deprived of in this tropical sauna of a state.

But in the midst of the Christmas hype, Thanksgiving lingers like the redheaded-stepchild holiday. Anyone remember Thanksgiving? The day where we're all supposed to gather with family and friends, eat until we hit that coveted food coma, and be thankful for everything in life we've been blessed with?

And then there's Black Friday, coincidentally coming right after the holiday when we count our blessings and take some time to truly be thankful for everything we have.

I have nothing against the largest shopping day of the year itself. I think it's always a good time to get some coffee, go out to the malls early and watch people go nuts over the sales stores throw in our faces. Sometimes, if it's not too crowded and there's no risk of being trampled, I'll pick out a thing or two myself and get started on my Christmas shopping.

My problem is with the overbearing spotlight our culture puts on Black Friday. Our materialistic society has put the shopping day and the deals that come with it up on a pedestal above Thanksgiving, giving it a celebrity status it really doesn't need to have and making it into a sort of holiday of its own.

Every year, you hear about the wild crowds, the lines out the doors of Best Buy for the latest electronics, the people sleeping in tents to secure their spaces in those lines, and the occasional fight breaking out between sleep-deprived but frugal shoppers. It escalates to the point where people get injured or even killed. Remember a few years ago when a pregnant woman was trampled and killed by a pushy crowd a little too eager to get into Wal-Mart?

And while that was an extreme situation, it just goes to show how much emphasis our society puts on materialistic things. Everyone has to have the latest and greatest item. Everyone has to have that item for the latest and greatest price. And too many people are willing to go to great lengths to get both.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't go Black Friday shopping, because frankly, the energy and Christmas spirit surrounding it is invigorating. But don't forget that Thanksgiving exists for a reason. Don't focus all of your energy on the sales and forget about what you were Instagramming your thankfulness for hours earlier. After all, the hot items this year are going to be overshadowed by next year's new hot-ticket items.

Enjoy your time with family and friends, and take a step back for a day to really appreciate life. Focus on what really matters. We need to put the "thanks" — and maybe even the "giving" — back in Thanksgiving.

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