Friday, November 29, 2013

Was it Thanksgiving? Or merely the first official shopping day of X-mas?

I don’t much care for what the Thanksgiving holiday has become.

Christmas on State Street ...
Because as much as I’m sure some people are going to respond to me by saying it was a chance to spend time with family while enjoying an elegant, overly-fancy meal together, I can’t help but sense that some people thought of it as merely the food they ate to give them sustenance before they went shopping.

YES, I REALLY believe that the Thanksgiving holiday is at risk of being overtaken by all the holiday shopping gimmicks meant to get people into the stores so that they will spend more money than they had planned to.

I don’t mean to be a downer. But I was always the reporter-type person whose least favorite work day was the day after Thanksgiving.

I have many memories of people engaging in ridiculous behavior because they thought the day after Thanksgiving was when they were supposed to go shopping for all those Christmas-related presents. Interviewing the guy who was selling velvet paintings of Elvis Presley from a van parked along Wabash Avenue near Randolph Street is probably the most garish.

But my point being I never comprehended the people who felt the need to rush into the holiday shopping mess. It makes the process of picking out gifts all the more hectic. Why turn it into a hassle?

FRIDAY WAS ALWAYS the day I went out of my way to avoid anything resembling a shopping mall or other place where retail was being performed. A part of me will even be reluctant to set foot in a supermarket on that day.

But now, with the trend of stores opening up on Thursday, it seems that I have a pair of days in which I will need to be careful – less I get sucked into the madness of crowds of people who don’t really have a clue what they want, but are looking to pick out things that will make them appear not to be cheap.

... has a certain character, regardless of when ...
Even though, in reality, they’re probably counting every penny they have (and some they really don’t have) all so they can be tightwads without looking the part.

It’s not so much that I don’t like crowds. I just don’t care for the vibe that comes from these people who feel that holiday shopping is a mission.

IT MAKES THEM all too susceptible to the deals that aren’t all that special. It is a scene I’d just as soon avoid. Even if that makes it seem as though I’m spouting a “Bah, Humbug!” or two.

... it occurs. Photos by Chuckman Chicago Nostalgia
In fact, if there’s anything about this particular holiday season that catches my attention, it’s the fact that Hanukkah is coming earlier than usual this year – and won’t coincide with Thanksgiving again for another 77,000 years or so.

Friday will be the third night (out of eight) of that Jewish holiday, and it is going to be long complete by the time the Christmas madness gets underway.

In my case, my step-mother is Jewish, and our Thanksgiving meal Thursday included a lighting of the candles at sundown that mark each day of the holiday. For some people, the concept of “Thanksgivikkah” was the reality.

ALTHOUGH FOR US, we’ve actually had enough family conflicts in schedules that the decision was made to postpone Hanukkah until mid-December.

So I have a couple of weeks to fret over finding the perfect presents for my Jewish nephews and nieces. Whom I care for too much to snub outright.

Which means I’ll have to wind up plunging myself into the retail madness of this holiday season.

My warning to you now; get out of my way, unless you want my elbow in your ribs!!!

  -30-

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