I am not equipped to discuss Thanksgiving meal ideas, cooking tips and so forth. There are many other talented writers who can expound upon such things here and elsewhere. However, I am equipped to expound upon this theme: how Thanksgiving should be Thanksgiving and not another hum-drum day on the calendar like it is at risk of becoming.
Walk into, say, a Sears or Menards in early October and what do you find? Decorated Christmas trees lined up in rows, boxes of lights, tree ornaments and other Yuletide décor, all ready and waiting to be picked up, along with giant Santa and other inflatable yard displays set up to lure buyers to purchase one for their home.
You have to double-check the calendar after walking out to make sure you didn’t miss a month or two. When I worked at Cub Foods, I remember seeing the tinniest of displays for Thanksgiving items but row upon row of Christmas stuff each year. Whenever I saw that, I would think: whatever happened to Thanksgiving?
It is more than just Christmas items elbowing out the Thanksgiving ones, however, that is contributing to make Thanksgiving a holiday at risk.
We always closed for Thanksgiving Dayn when I worked at Cub Foods. Always. No exceptions, no special events, no nothing. Our doors were shut and lines of grocery carts were lined up out in front of them to tell the world we were closed for the day but would see you tomorrow starting at 6 a.m. when the carts would be returned inside and the doors unlocked once more.
Alas, the doors of the likes of Kroger, Whole Foods and Winn Dixie will not be locked this Thanksgiving, but rather will be open for customers from late morning to mid-afternoon all across the country. Why? Just how many forgetful Thanksgiving shoppers are there who will need to rush in to buy last-minute items for their holiday meal?
Even worse are the likes of retail stores whose doors will be open during the daytime on Thanksgiving such as Sears (7 a.m. to 12 p.m.), Kmart (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.), or Wal Mart (all day). Work for them, but have a family get-together taking place? Too bad! It’s off to your work shift instead as your employer tries to get a leg-up on the lucrative “Black Friday” trade.
A holiday is supposed to be a special time of the year. The more we push Christmas at the expense of Thanksgiving, and the more we put people to work on Thanksgiving Day when they deserve to be at home with their families, we are going to make the holiday Abraham Lincoln made official in 1863 become just another hum-drum day on the calendar like the bulk of them are.
It is time to let Thanksgiving be Thanksgiving, a special time when the nine to five shuffle ceases, big businesses take a pause for breath and we all give our various reasons to be thankful, as well as enjoy the company of family and friends over a good meal, as the world outside our homes takes on a slower tempo for the day.