New 'tradition' intrudes on a much older one



A funny thing happened while celebrating Thanksgiving with family.

Actually, it wasn’t funny at all.

We had been waiting much of the day for our family to gather for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. We had some members come from as far away as New York City.

When they arrived, it was pandemonium from the start – that’s part of our tradition, as we have several young grandsons and some older granddaughters, not to mention children who love to be together and share all that is going on in their lives.

The boys are especially entertaining as they run around the house chasing one another, and I, of course, need to catch and tickle them until they can’t breathe.


WITH THE MEAL eaten and more beverages in hand, we collapsed in the family room, where the noise level reaches to the outer decibel range. There was so much laughter and sharing and just time to be together, as we do for every Thanksgiving. It doesn’t get any better than this.

But just before 8 p.m., it was as if the doorbell rang and in walked CEOs from a string of department stores and big-box retailers.

Everything changed. Half of our family got up and started preparing to leave with these – what should I call them? – intruders. I had been hearing about the early openings of stores, and was concerned about what this would do to the family gatherings of these stores’ employees – on this day for families. Not for one minute did I think that this would affect me personally. Was I ever wrong!

I know, the family members who left in what I thought was the middle of our gathering could have stayed and not gone out to shop. But they have been shopping as soon as the doors opened for “Black Friday” for years. It is a part of their tradition – there is nothing wrong with this, and they have every right to continue this practice, and should. There are some good deals out there.


BUT I SURE missed them when they left, and the house became so quiet. We still got to enjoy the family who remained, but it just wasn’t the same without the others.

I guess this will be the new “tradition” of Thanksgiving, at least until next year. Who knows? Maybe these same uninvited guests will arrive earlier – perhaps in the middle of dinner.

Well, you get the picture. These corporate people have only one thing on their minds: ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching! No family will stand in their way – not the families of their employees or the families of shoppers.


(The writer is a retired Episcopal priest in Evans.)



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