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.

War on Thanksgiving – Updated

I know everyone keeps bitching about a “War on Christmas”, but I can assure you there is not. Even before the Halloween decorations were down, the Christmas stuff started going up. How in the hell is that a war against a holiday? To promote it so vividly and early constitutes an act of war? It has been getting earlier and earlier; in fact I saw the first candies on the shelf when back-to-school stuff was on display. I applaud and honor Nordstrom’s who stated in a press release that their holiday deco wouldn’t be on display until Black Friday.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule, Festivus, Human Light Day and Saturnalia. I will celebrate anything if you teach me how. The real holiday with a war on is Thanksgiving (here after Tgiving for brevity and because I suck at typing).

Have you ever noticed that the Halloween (Hween) commercials magically morph into Christmas (Xmas) commercials seemingly overnight? Immediately following Hween there are about 2 minutes of specifically Tgiving commercials before we start seeing the Xmas and holiday commercials. It’s almost like folks forget about Tgiving; like it’s an afterthought or “that holiday between Hween and Xmas”. Now true, Tgiving is based on religious separatists being given safe harbor from a completely different culture (Puritans and Native Americans respectively) after a treacherous journey (aka refugees) and taught how to live in their new land. And maybe some folks conveniently forget that, but I don’t. It is a celebration of acceptance, friendship, and abundance. It’s my favorite holiday of the year and there is a war going on people!

I never thought I would be one of those people who would say, “When I was younger…” but I do. When I was younger everything was closed on Tgiving except gas stations, hotels and the grocery store that closed at 2 pm so EVERYONE was able to spend the holiday with their loved ones. Then more than hotel restaurants started being open to accommodate travelers. And now retailers are open. As a former retail employee I can assure you if I had to work on Tgiving I would be livid and in tears at the same time. Why is it that our lowest paid population doesn’t deserve to spend a day off with their loved ones before things get REALLY crazy?

So here, I beg you, DO NOT SHOP ON THANKSGIVING! If the people don’t shop, the retailers won’t be open and EVERYONE gets to spend a day with their loved ones. Stay home, eat seconds and watch f-ball if you must, but don’t go shopping! Don’t skip dessert to spend money. If you HAVE to shop, do it online or Black Friday or Cyber Monday when the sales will be different, but just as good. I can promise you I will be out early on Black Friday with Thursday’s make up on! Do you REALLY NEED those towels that are on sale? Is the small amount of savings worth it to you to have someone work when they SHOULD be home spending it with loved ones? Trust me, retailers will get your money, but you might not get back the time you miss with loved ones. Being a military family, we have spent Tgiving with bio-family 4 times in 28 years. If I could have Tgiving with my Grandmother one more time and sit at the “kids table”, I would skip a LOT.

And if you REALLY want to make a difference in someone’s day, invite a dorm resident from your local military installation to YOUR Tgiving celebration (search “adopt an airman/soldier/sailor and the name of your closest military installation to find out how). They are away from home and the chow hall isn’t as welcoming as YOUR table. FYI – our Island of Lost Toys Tgiving started in JUST that way! And to make a BIGGER impact, donate what you would have spent shopping on Tgiving to your local food bank and help provide meals to people in need in YOUR neighborhood.

These retailers won’t be open on Tgiving – show them some love on Black Friday and be sure to support your LOCAL businesses by shopping with them on Small Business Saturday.