It’s an overcast morning. Mid-30s and it’s currently snowing. It’s nearly 11am and I had to do that thing I detest more than anything on a holiday: I had to run to the store because we used up all the milk. My thoughts on stores being opened on major holidays has always been that those folks working the registers, stocking the shelves and working behind the meat counter have families at home that they can’t spend the day with because they have to serve idiots like me that forgot to buy an extra gallon of milk.
20 years ago stores were shut down, with the exception of maybe a gas station on the highway. There was an unspoken rule that on Thanksgiving and Christmas, stores would be closed so that EVERYONE could be home and enjoy the turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie with their husbands, wives, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, and extended families. The only place you needed to be was the kitchen basting the turkey and shooing little hands away from bowls with sweetness in them. You’d arrive at wherever the festivities were taking place and hit the appetizers(veggie trays, deli trays, cheese balls, deviled eggs, and other delights.) There’d be lots of conversations, lots of laughing, and coffee poured. Grandparents would tell tales of past holidays while the kids would run around the house being told to “Stop running in the house!” You’d eat till the point of misery and then sit the allotted time for proper processing of the food and hit the pies. More coffee was poured, more laughs, more stories, board games were played, and when it was good and dark and cold outside you’d load everyone in the car and head home.
This was what Thanksgiving was when I was a kid.
But at some point(I’m guessing when Walmart completed their world domination in the early 2000s) that unspoken rule of keeping the doors locked on Thanksgiving went by the wayside. It was more important to stay open in case someone had the urge to go buy a videogame or a frozen pizza or a cookware set. So if one store is staying open then by God everyone had to stay open. It’s become a free-for-all for consumerism, tradition be damned. Then of course there’s Black Friday, which pretty much sealed the coffin on tradition.
So what am I saying here? I mean, I was one of those assholes this morning that headed into the grocery to buy milk and a couple extra cans of green beans. I think what I’m getting at here is that I’m thankful for those folks at the store that aren’t home basting their turkeys and shooing kids away from pie fillings in bowls. I’m thankful for those that are stocking the shelves where I grabbed the green beans and guys and gals in the dairy putting out the gallons of milk that I went in to pick up as well. I hope they all have an amazing time and a great meal with their loved ones at some point today. I know I plan on it. I’m thankful for having a home full of amazing humans(and a dog) to share this day with. I’m thankful for a hell of a lot, really. I hope you all have an amazing day with family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.