Thanksgiving. I am thankful for so many things. My son, my husband, my home, my family, my health. We had a great visit with my sister and her family and a fantastic dinner with them. Of course there's never enough time, and too soon we rushed homeward to have lunch with our special girl from Guatemala. She's growing soooo fast! There again, our visit was far too short.
This year, I felt Thanksgiving was marred by the nonstop barrage of television ads for "Black Friday" sales beginning earlier and earlier. Stores used to open at 6 a.m., then it was 5. This week I heard commercials for retailers opening at 3 a.m., then midnight, then 10 p.m. THURSDAY and remaining open all night (that was the outlets). One opened at 8 p.m. Thursday with its "Black Friday" sales, and then KMart repeated ad nauseam that its stores opened at 6 a.m. THURSDAY (open all day) to begin its sales. It really irked me that this year, of all years, when we are in the midst of a recession and so many people have so much less to spend, that the retailers are pushing so hard.
It's also irked me that suddenly one of the big unwritten rules was broken. Thanksgiving used to be about family and taking time out from the everyday grind (including shopping, I always thought) to be thankful for our blessings, and the stores used to respect that. This year, I felt that they intruded on what used to be quasi-sacred time.
Or, perhaps I'm misplacing the blame here, and should look to the people who actually go out to sales on Thanksgiving morning or evening. If no one came to the stores that violated the unwritten rule, they would never do it again; it wouldn't be economically worth it. Conversely, it's safe to assume that opening on Thanksgiving was calculated to be "worth it" to the retailers, and from the TV news I saw showing masses of people, it seemed to be so. Time will tell, and if there is a dearth of complaints or criticism about opening on this holiday, that will be calculated into the equation I'm sure. (So if it bothers you like it does me, be sure to let those retailers know.)
So I'm not leaving the Thanksgiving holiday with a really great feeling this year. I feel pestered by advertisements, rushed from place to place and tired. Not enough of the good stuff, too much of the other. I'm pretty sure that on Sunday we are going to try to make up for that by roasting a small turkey, making a few sides and having a little, quiet Thanksgiving here with my tiny family. I need the peace and space to reflect and truly give thanks.
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