Closed for Thanksgiving

My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving. In 29 years of marriage, John and I have only had Thanksgiving with extended family a handful of times. As a military family, it just wasn’t possible financially or logistically, but that has been changing in the past few years. My cousin Christine and my SILs from San Francisco have made the trip a few times and for me, it makes the holiday all the brighter.

There are a few friends who I wish would join us for Thanksgiving

We usually have about 20 for Thanksgiving, but last year got out of control. We had 42 people for dinner. Three turkeys and all that goes with it, wine, desserts. Basically The Works. It was too much even for me. I didn’t really get to visit with ANYONE because I was so busy visiting with everyone for a few minutes at a time. We have decided never to repeat that and have trimmed everything back to the 20 again. A few will drop in for drinks and apps and a few will show up for dessert. There are some friends who I wish would join us for the holiday. Several can’t because they host their own “Friendsgiving”, a few can’t because of family obligations and a few won’t because we have a “no football” policy. The TV goes on for the Macy’s  Parade and then it is off for the rest of the day. It is all about music and laughter and conversation. IMHO, you can stare at the TV any other day of the year.

Don’t you think EVERYONE should be able to spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones?

Because I feel so strongly about Thanksgiving being a “family” day, whether you spend it with bio-family or chosen family, I encourage you to NOT shop on Thanksgiving. Of course there is the inevitable, “Oh shit! I forgot the cranberries!” “Dammit! I was supposed to bring wine with me!” “For fuck’s sake! Who ate all of the stuff for the antipasto?” And off to the grocery store you must run. I am not talking about that. I am talking about SHOPPING. The so called Black Friday sales start ON Thanksgiving now. WHY? Isn’t spending time with your loved ones more important than the few dollars you save by shopping on Thanksgiving? Don’t you think EVERYONE should be able to spend the day with their loved ones? I do, and that’s why I encourage all of you to stay home. If folks stop showing up, the stores will stay closed and allow their employees to enjoy the day with their peeps before the mad holiday shopping season rush.

To that end, here is a list of retailers honoring family traditions and staying closed on Thanksgiving. Show them a little love this shopping season when you are choosing where to spend your hard earned dollars. For the record, I will be at Dillard’s at 8 am on Friday to show them some love! Thanks to Forbes online for the graphic and info. These are just he national chains and bog box stores. Of course, most of the Mom & Pop shops will be closed and you can show them the love on Small Business SaturdayClosed for Thanksgiving

So here’s my game plan:

  • Watch the Macy’s Parade (even though they are open on Thanksgiving) while I am doing prep
  • Eat, drink and be merry with friends, music, laughter and maybe some games
  • Black Friday Shopping with my pal Lynn – Dillard’s always has the best handbags on sale!
  • Shop Local on Saturday
  • Sleep on Sunday

Years ago, we started “adopting” Airmen from the dorms to our Thanksgiving table and thus the “Island of Lost Toys Thanksgiving” was born. When I look back and think of everyone sitting on the floor, couches and any place they could perch to eat, I chuckle. It was probably one of the craziest ideas I ever had. We didn’t have a table big enough, we only had a four top table and because I have always done Thanksgiving buffet style, that’s where the food went! I know each and every Airman that has joined us has loved it. I know as humble as my home was and is, it is better than any chow hall on the planet, plus there is camaraderie from others they don’t know. If you want to “adopt” a service member to your Thanksgiving celebration, contact your local military installation.