Retail Boy (okay, that's me) did the unthinkable today and went to a store on a holiday. It is quite frankly something I am loathe to do. In this day and age the economic advantage drives the world. It is something I have understood and known for many years. Nearly everything we do as a society, a culture or the world for that matter is driven by some economic force.
This morning I ventured into a Kroger store to buy a newspaper. Although I will be at work tomorrow morning for the dreaded Black Friday, a holiday that seems to be revered more than Thanksgiving in this country, My Beloved wanted a newspaper to see all the ads. In the past, would that have been a tragedy? Hardly. Now to be fair, she's not much of a Day After shopper but due to my work she is often alone on this weekend. While I was there I picked up some cinnamon rolls for her as they are her favorite. It's the least I can do for someone who will be doing the bulk of the cooking today, even though I will do most of the cleaning up. In the past anything we missed would have been put off to the next day.
To that end many of the traditions we have known over the years, those that in my lifetime I have grown up with have fallen to the economic axe. As I walked around the grocery store it didn't look to me like any other random Thursday morning at a Kroger. There were some smiles from the staff and others who were simply busy going about their job, unfortunately a day where they should be home to sit back from the bustle of the everyday world. Thanksgiving to so many is just another day, nothing special at all. While those who aren't part of the critical workforce such as police, fire, hospitals are sitting at home doing what they choose, too many are at work in retail and restaurants who really shouldn't have to be there.
It all started with the advent of the BankAmericard. You know, the commercially first credit card to hit the mainstream. For the first decade or so it was a benefit that likely added to the holiday traditions and festivities. Now however we have all become slaves to the spending and complications that have come with it all. Now I know everyone didn't have the traditions I grew up with, a Thanksgiving meal with family, a traditional Christmas growing up with Mass at church and Christmas carols put on the record player without being shoved down our ears beginning November 1st. But what we have lost in this chaos is not just traditions of the past but we are on the verge of losing those traditions for the future, the family we foster and love.
Traditions once lost may never be rekindled and that is the sadness in this seasons holidays which are quickly becoming just another day.
May your Thanksgiving Day be relaxing and calm and my your turkey be moist and your potatoes be fluffy. And if you've never heard of frozen salad, look it up.