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.