Thursday, November 27, 2014

Will Thanksgiving meal someday come at shopping mall food court?

My brother, Chris, and I plan to spend this holiday Thursday visiting our father and step-mother, who plan to visit her sister who lives in the Beverly neighborhood.

There will be assorted family and friends present – a typical-enough Thanksgiving holiday experience, I suppose.

YET THE PART that may make it the typical experience is the fact that I have been told my step-brother won’t be on hand to share in a turkey dinner. His absence is due to the newest trend of this day – he’s going to be shopping.

He wants to take advantage of all those sales specially scheduled for Thursday – the day before Black Friday.

Before anyone presumes I’m about to bad-mouth a family member, I’m not. For it seems that what really is happening is that all this holiday shopping is becoming more and more the norm for our society.

I’m wondering how long it will be before it is the people who insist on gathering together for a meal who will be considered the aberration on “Thanksgiving” day.

SO MUCH FOR the federal holiday that Abraham Lincoln approved as a day of thanks, based off the imagery of the pilgrims who settled in Massachusetts back in 1620.

Now, it’s a day to pay homage to the “god” that is Sam Walton, offering up all kinds of gadgets at his Wal-mart stores located everywhere in the country.

Now anybody who has read my commentary in the past knows I don’t think much of this trend. To me, the crowds that gather for the ritual big shopping days connected to the winter holidays are just too annoying to put up with.

I’ll be looking for the lulls in activity (as few and miniscule as they will be) to try to pick out gifts for the upcoming Hanukkah and Christmas holidays (I know people who celebrate each).

BUT NOT EVERYBODY feels the same. I have heard my sister-in-law go on and on about the joys of finding a special holiday price by being willing to put up with those same crowds that annoy me.

So the fact that many businesses are not waiting until early Friday to begin the holiday season (some stores literally are going to be open for the bulk of Thursday) made it so that I wasn’t surprised to learn my step-brother and his family will be amongst those shoppers.

My sympathy goes to the people who have to work at places like Best Buy, Target, Sears, Toys ‘r’ Us and other major chains who have decided to be open for business on Thursday. Any semblance of a ‘day off’ gets flushed away to help enhance the financial bottom line.

The shopping mentality even exists in Ferguson, Mo., the St. Louis suburb that has had some outbursts and vandalism in the wake of a local police officer being absolved of criminal responsibility in the shooting death of a black man.

THE ACTIVISTS WHO have been leading protests that have turned into some looting have threatened a more peaceful, but also more threatening to the financial bottom line, action – a boycott of any holiday shopping during the upcoming weekend.

Considering that retail operations go on about how this weekend is key to their level of profitability for the year, NOT shopping is harmful.

So maybe I can claim to be a revolutionary, of sorts, by not shopping Thursday or Friday. Although it would be an exaggeration of great significance. Maybe I’m just too lazy to trek out to the crowded stores and would rather gather with family for a communal meal.

As for my step-brother, I don’t know if he’ll ever read this. But since I likely won’t see him Thursday, I’ll just have to use this commentary to wish him a “Happy Thanksgiving,” and hope he found some special price that made the way worthwhile for him.


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