This year is a little less joyful as my mom is going through chemo and doesn't seem to have a very good appetite right now, my dad has dementia and will need someone to help him eat, my husband is sick with a cold, and I'm exhausted after spending the week helping out my parents. But, I am thankful that we will have an excellent meal made in my sister's amazing new kitchen that was just finished about a month ago, that both parents will be present, despite their ailments and that our daughter is in good health. Last year, I spent Thanksgiving in a hospital room at the Children's hospital where she receives care. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and poor oxygenation two days before Thanksgiving and we were there until two days after Thanksgiving. So, this year, despite all it's negatives, is much better than last year.
I will say that I will NOT be participating in the Black Friday madness (really, can we call it Black Friday anymore with stores opening at 8 p.m. on Thursday?). It is an event I view with much disdain ever since working retail during my college years. For those who have to work those events, the dread will surely ruin the holiday for some (if their work schedule doesn't ruin it for them). For any of you planning to participate, I have a few pleas for you:
- Don't act like you didn't realize there would be a crowd - there will be lines, there will be pushy people (heck, you may be one).
- Don't physically or emotionally abuse your fellow shoppers or the store workers. Is it really worth saving $100 to make others feel horrific either physically or emotionally? If the answer for you is yes, seek help.
- Don't force your friends and/or family to go with you. It is cruel and it will ruin the holiday for some of them! Find friends and/or family who WANT to get up at some ungodly hour and go to an overcrowded store to stand in line.
- Don't sacrifice your holiday for your consumer items. I just saw a news story that showed people camping out in front of Best Buy. Some said they have not had a Thanksgiving dinner at home in years. Seems like you've missed the point of the holiday...
Okay - if, after all that, you still feel compelled to shop - go to it! I will be happily sitting around, eating leftovers and taking my mom to a chemo appointment (well, I won't be happily doing that, but it is what I will be doing).