Only a few more days to go until it’s time to stuff our faces with delicious food! This year, I’m flying back to Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with the family I haven’t seen in a year and a half, and I can definitely say I’m excited. NaNoWriMo is well underway (and I’m only about two thousand words behind) and my muse is still intact, which means I’ll certainly be occupied for the flight (and the dreadful layovers that will accompany it). However, while I was check my mom’s Facebook page, I couldn’t help but catch a glimpse of an image she’d shared from one of the local news stations, declaring that she would not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day. It was at that moment that realization struck me and, as some of you may have seen, proceeded to rant about the current state of the holidays.
It’s terrifying to know that, by the time my children (when I have them, anyway) have children, holidays probably won’t exist. At least, not here in America. There used to be a time when stores were closed for Thanksgiving. When Black Friday shopping meant getting up at about four in the morning. Now? Now retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day so that customers can line their pockets with their hard earned money. The sad thing is, that money spent at the retail stores? It’s probably going into the hands of the corporate guys who are probably at home with their families, while their low wage (and in many cases minimum wage) employees slave away behind their registers. Sure, they’re being paid over-time (in most cases, not all). Is this really the price we put on memories that should be cherished?
Last year, I was working retail at K-mart when the holidays came around. If it weren’t for a co-worker and her amazing family, I wouldn’t have had my turkey dinner. I was scheduled to work from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and the guy I was dating at that time had to work from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM. On top of that, my parents were out of state for contract work and we were house-sitting. It was, by far, the worst Thanksgiving I’d ever experienced, and now it’s only going to get worse. (For the record, K-mart was closed from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM so that most of the employees working that day could go eat dinner and come back. I, however, was not among those lucky ones.)
I can only hope that maybe, just maybe, something will happen that will salvage the holidays so that we can go back to spending time with our loved ones, so that we can go back to making memories and truly enjoying our holidays. Corporations already have Valentine’s and Halloween. Why must we give them Thanksgiving, too? Eventually we’ll even lose Christmas.