It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Every year I watch from a distance at people camping at local stores with hopes of getting the one TV that was advertised at a ridiculously low price.
This year was worse. Instead of waiting for the traditional Black Friday “unofficial” start to the holiday shopping season, many stores decided to open Thanksgiving night or very early Friday morning.
For years, I have been complaining (and I’m not alone on this one) that retailers are taking away from the true meaning of certain holidays, such Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, by pushing their merchandise any way they can. Holiday displays appear in store months before the holiday actually takes place. What whose fault is it really? Don’t consumers set the pace for their buying practices? I don’t think it’s fair to put all the blame on retailers. After all, they’re just trying to make a living.
My one and only experience with Black Friday happened more than 25 years ago when Cabbage Patch Dolls were the rage. I stood in line with a friend to get one of the last dolls available anywhere in Cedar Rapids. Was the 4-hour wait worth it?
I think, as a new mother, it was, but I never did it again. I’ve since realized that there is more to life than Cabbage Patch Dolls and low-priced TVs. My Black Friday morning will be spent with my grandchildren, something that can’t be bought in a store. There will be enough time to buy the gifts I need before Christmas, but for now, I just want to reflect on how thankful I really am.
In a side note, my 23-year-old daughter cooked her very first Thanksgiving dinner in her new home, which I was honored to attend. Among the dishes that were served included the traditional green bean casserole, turkey, and stuffing, but an Asian favorite was added; crab ragoons.
Who says you have to follow every tradition? Maybe it’s time to start a few new ones.