During my childhood Thanksgiving Day was traditionally “Food, Family and Friends.” On the News this morning they described it as traditionally “Food, Family and Football.” Things change. However, the report immediately following that comment disturbs me. Retail outlets are moving their opening time and Black Friday (Pre Christmas) Sales even earlier on Thanksgiving Day than they did a year ago. That makes me sad. And it makes me angry.
It makes me sad that shoppers must abandon their families and friends to get what they hope will be the best deals. They’ll give up the opportunity to make precious Thanksgiving memories with their children and grandchildren to pursue their vision of finding the perfect Christmas gift on sale. Shoppers will rush through meals, cut family visits short, and even forgo the traditional football game to be first in line at one retail outlet or another. I guess “First” now replaces “Family, Friends and Food” as the Thanksgiving tradition. I’m not angry with the shoppers. I understand why they rush around and join the mobs. But I am sad for them.
I am however, angry with the retailers. How dare they intrude on a day that should be reserved for counting our blessings? How dare they interrupt our family traditions? How dare they add stress to our already busy holiday season? How dare they encroach on the last few moments of our Thanksgiving holiday—perhaps the only peaceful moments of the day–when we might have a few moments to reflect on our blessings?
I’ll be fixing Thanksgiving Dinner for only two this holiday because we chose to avoid the chaos of being in motion this year. I am sad that we will miss the interaction of our families, but I won’t miss the crowded airports or snow-covered mountain passes. And although there are just the two of us, I can’t imagine spending any part of the day shopping. Instead I’ll spend the day looking through photo albums and reliving the memories of Thanksgivings past and being grateful that I was blessed to grow up and to raise my children at a time when Black Friday sales didn’t start until Friday.
Happy Thanksgiving…and celebrate it however means the most to you.
Three word Wednesday: vision, motion, peaceful.