WHAT?!? Tell me it isn’t so. Retailers are opening this year on Thanksgiving night, beginning at 8 o’clock, so that people don’t have to wait until “Black Friday” to shop.
With bellies full of stuffing, we’re all supposed to rush to the mega-watt parking lots and begin lining up to riot our way into big box stores full of crap to buy things that nobody wants or needs to prove our love to the very folks whom we’ve just left at home.
We are living with a high jobless rate, a huge deficit, a raging recession, massive personal debt and lack of savings for many, a giant percentage of our population in prison, increasingly high numbers of homeless and hungry families and more and more people admitting that they don’t have people to whom they can admit their struggles and deepest longings. And yet even with all that evidence that material stuff doesn’t scratch our itches, people want to shop to numb the pain and to pay off people they haven’t invested their time in by spending money on them. And when all the ribbons are snipped and the wrapping paper is thrown into the fire and the dewdaws and heehaws and Apple products are oohed and aahed over on Christmas morning, nothing will have changed as a result of the stuff exchanged.
The part that people will remember most is some unplanned moment where the family laughed for a minute over something weird the dog did or felt a collective warm, fuzzy feeling over the grumpy teenager sitting with the grandmother he often finds annoying and patiently answering her questions.
Let’s listen to The Grinch, and stop the madness, stop it now: “He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!”
So on Thanksgiving, please pass me the seconds on cranberry sauce. You couldn’t get me out to the mall with a stick of dynamite under my chair.