New 'tradition' intrudes on a much older one

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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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deestafford 12/08/13 - 08:14 am
It is a sad change...

It is a sad change that has occurred. This new opening of stores on Thanksgiving Day is just one of the traditions watered down. But, to me the saddest is so many people have forgot or never really knew the real purpose of Thanksgiving---to thank God for the blessings he has bestowed on this great country.

With the overreach of the federal government and the leftist, activist judges we have taken the ability of celebrating the true meaning of Thanksgiving out of the schools and off the public squares because it might ''oooooffffennnnddddd" someone. If someone is offended by a time set aside by the Founders of America to thank God for this great country they should leave it and go somewhere where they won't be offended.

gaflyboy 12/08/13 - 09:25 am
I agree Rev Nead

It’s a sad turn of events that the almighty dollar is becoming more sacred that most everything else. Corporate CEO’s certainly bear part of the blame, as they should forgo their profit seeking for two or three days a year. But the fault can’t be laid entirely at their feet. Their customers could teach them very quickly, when they should keep their doors locked. But apparently, they have their priorities too, and preserving the sanctity of these days isn’t one of them.

Let us hope that Christmas eve and Christmas …

carcraft 12/08/13 - 11:16 am
Well the solution is simple.

Well the solution is simple. Don't shop on thanksgiving. I don't. There are other sales other days.

crkgrdn 12/08/13 - 08:58 pm

Until the folks change, this sad state of affairs will be.
I choose not to shop on Thanksgiving....or most other days.

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