Here we go. Another Turkey Day is upon us when our nation sets aside an entire day to watch football, draft out the Black Friday shopping plan, eat way too much and, oh yes, be thankful for everything we’ve got.
Of course, these days the stores are throwing fuel on the fire of greed and hoping to replace a showing of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” or “Miracle on 34th Street” with a trip to the mall. It’s sad.
Growing up, Thanksgiving was such a special day. The three TV networks would usually show a special movie that night, like “Sound of Music” or “The Wizard of Oz.” It was a time when you had to wait every year for someone to show them so you could see them. Today, you can watch them on your phone.
Yes, back in those days, we would find ourselves relegated to the ‘kiddie’ table. We probably had to dress up more than we wanted to and, in our family, anything close to a holiday meant a bonus church service. If I remember correctly, it was get up, mom would put the turkey in the oven, and then out the door we would go for a 10am service.
I don’t know if we went every year, because I remember seeing the dueling parades on TV. One network would carry the Macy’s Parade, while the other settled for the Mummer’s Parade in Philadelphia. I never liked those parades because every friggin’ float broke out into a Broadway musical. I hear the orchestra, but I don’t see them. And why are her lips moving the wrong way?
Thanksgiving was yams or sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows, green olives stuffed with pimento, turkey, gravy, potatoes, more gravy, cranberries and the good dishes.
I know we did a few craft things as kids. You know, where you trace your hand and make a turkey out of it. But for all the things I sort of kind of remember, the smell of that turkey in the oven means home. That’s what the holiday is all about. Family, home, friends, relatives.
As you get older, you become not very fond of change. Change is different than the way you remember it being and different usually turns out to be not as good. I’ve always embraced change, because I feel it helps you grow. It makes you uncomfortable, so that you learn something new. I get that.
But having stores open on Thanksgiving Day just seems wrong. Think about it: if those stores were closed for the day then open on Friday, you’d buy just as much stuff. I feel for the employees who have found themselves having to go into work at 10pm at the end of a festive day. It isn’t right, it doesn’t feel right and they know it’s not right.
I promise you, if you fight the urge to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day, you’ll be sending a message to the stores to stay closed. Online shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are enough, not to mention all those days following this weekend between now and Christmas.
Stay at home. Enjoy the people around you and savor the smell of that bird. It’ll be a memory you’ll take with you for many years to come.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!