I am a shopper. I love to shop. Shopping is easy for me. Too easy. I admit that sometimes “retail therapy” really does make me feel better, and that shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. I can literally shop ‘til I drop. I can shop all day, with just a brief break for lunch or a snack. I can shop all day and fill up my car with merchandise, and I can, honestly, shop all day and hardly buy anything. Shopping, for me, is the act of walking through stores looking at all of the beautiful things that I may or may not choose to purchase. I guess, in that regard, much of my shopping is “window shopping.”
But I will never shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Never might be a long time. So let me clarify what that really means to me. It means NEVER.
Thanksgiving is a family day. In our household my husband usually works for a few hours on Thanksgiving morning. By the time he gets home, both daughters are sitting around in their pajamas watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. (Brief pause here to cover a pet peeve: it is NOT the “Macy’s Day” Parade. There is no “Macy’s Day” holiday.) By this time I generally have the turkey in the oven and am working on some side dishes, and may be getting ready to do the last minute tidying up or setting the table.
Just a short time later the family arrives. Some years it’s a smallish group and other years large. This year it will be very small, but some years we have had up to 20 for dinner. Then it’s all about the food for a bit. We eat, we talk, we eat some more. We have a little wine, and maybe a little more. Then we clear the table and have coffee and pie. After that we sit around and talk some more, or sometimes play a game. One year we had what can only be described as an epic game of Apples to Apples that involved about a dozen of us ranging in age from 8 to 80. Sometimes the kids take a walk. Once in a while someone moves to the piano to play, or to their guitar. But it is a FAMILY time.
Eventually we clean up the kitchen, load the dishwasher, hand wash the good silverware and a few other things, and then we’re exhausted. Once the extended family goes home we turn on Miracle on 34th Street, pour another glass of wine, and relax.
There is no time for shopping. Even if there was time, we simply would not. If we didn’t spend all that time sitting around and talking as a family, how would my kids ever hear stories about their parents, aunts and uncles growing up? How would we know what’s going on in our kids’ lives? How would our kids connect with their grandmother? It’s a FAMILY day. That’s what I’m most thankful for on Thanksgiving.
I’m never thankful for shopping. I enjoy it, definitely. But I am not thankful for it. I will NEVER shop on Thanksgiving Day.
Oh…and I don’t do Black Friday, either. To me Black Friday is a perfect day for sleeping in after all the turkey, pie, and wine the day before. There is no price low enough to get me out of bed at 4am to fight with ridiculous crowds of people for a gadget that I’m pretty sure we’ll be just fine without.
So maybe my ideas don’t fit today’s norm, but I’m okay with that. Maybe if most of us stay home on Thanksgiving Day with our families, the stores will get the idea, too. Maybe.