Robin @ Kids Matter
Thanksgiving is one of the few times each year that my whole family gets together. Add to that some good food, fun game playing, and Black Friday shopping, and you have my favorite holiday of the year. Or, I should say, had. Over the years it was my favorite holiday, but things are changing. Have you noticed that Christmas preparations start earlier every year? Black Friday shopping has also started earlier and earlier. Some stores are open all day on Thanksgiving. Last year, almost all Black Friday shopping started on Thanksgiving Thursday! You may be asking, “What’s wrong with that?” It takes away from family time. And family time is very important, especially since families have less and less of it in the hustle and bustle of everyone having different schedules and priorities. Some people say, “But we can shop together.” Sure, you could, but do you? Does everyone in your family like to shop? Is everyone looking for the same item? Are you able to communicate and have meaningful interaction in the middle of the shopping crowd? I don’t think so…
Personally, I miss the challenge of Black Friday as it used to be. I fondly remember those years of getting up at 3:30 AM to be at the store and in line by 4AM. Sure, it was cold and exhausting, you don’t always get that sale item you are looking for, but, many times I got the great deals and had fun with whomever I was able to talk into shopping with me that year. Now, with shopping starting so early, the lines are a lot longer. Last year, I went to one store and found the item I wanted, but the checkout line was too long. After standing in a line that wrapped around the entire store for 30 minutes without moving, I gave up and left. I am not willing to give up 8 to 10 hours of my Thanksgiving to go stand in line. That time is too valuable to me!
Enjoy the time you have with family, because you may lose them before you know it. My mother passed away last year, and believe me, it does make a difference. I miss her every day, but I especially feel her loss during this time of the year. I remember the fun we had of planning the menu together. I was the cook and she was the organizer. She was a terrible cook, but loved talking to everyone to make sure they were coming, what they were bringing, and just generally organizing it. Every year, there would be an unexpected twist, whether it was a neighbor joining us who had no family to celebrate with, or helping cook and serve at a homeless shelter. I would always go to her home the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, to start the turkey process. We really enjoyed that time together before the rest of the crowd arrived. One year, we ended up with 10 pumpkin pies and no other deserts, but that was ok because it gave us a good memory to laugh about.
So, how do you deal with changes like this? Last year, the loss of my mom was very fresh. My family got together, but we had pizza instead of the usual Thanksgiving fare. However, we were more focused than ever before on the thankfulness aspect. This year, my first thought was to cancel the holiday, but that didn’t work. So, we are planning Thanksgiving at my sister’s house this year. She has started the menu planning, much as I tried to avoid it. It’s not the same, but I’m sure that it will still be a good time with family and friends.As David Bowie said, “Pretty soon you’re gonna get a little older. Time may change me. But I can’t trace time.” I leave you with a plea. Thanksgiving is an important holiday. Please don’t skip over it!