When I look back on my childhood, I have many memories of the holiday season. I can't tell you all the gifts I received each Christmas. There are some things that seemed like a big deal, like my nerf mini-golf set. Then there are the smaller gifts that were pretty much an annual thing, such as giant, newsprint papered, activity books and a set of markers. Most of all, the memories are filled with experiences.
Our family delivered The Cleveland Plain Dealer. On Thanksgiving, when the papers were all delivered, my siblings most likely went back to bed. I would stay up and help my mom. Usually, I was tearing the bread up to make the stuffing (yes, we are a stuffing, not dressing, family). The soundtrack for the kitchen hustle and bustle was the local, morning news broadcast with the turkey bowling event. It was compelling television in the way that only local news teams can deliver. Part of the team was at a grocery store where people were using frozen turkeys to bowl down cans of cranberry sauce. AWESOME-SAUCE (see what I did there?). When that broadcast was over, it was time for the Macy's Parade! Then my mom would get her traditional phone call from a friend of hers and I'd be on my own to do whatever needed to be done.
Some years, my mom would take in strays who didn't have Thanksgiving plans. We were a crowd on our own with my parents, my four siblings, and me. As the years went on, the numbers grew and grew. And, my mom always prepared enough of her amazing food for everyone and then some. Even now, when I don't get to be there for Thanksgiving, I can smell and practically taste my mom's stuffing. She always had a smorgasbord of vegetables, too, so that there was bound to be some type that each person would like. Then, there would be the annual sweet potato reference to Louie Anderson's Thanksgiving bit.
Anyway, I could go on with more experiences, more memory sharing, but I've gone on too long already.
What I really want to bring up here is the way Thanksgiving is becoming less and less of a holiday and more about getting that jump on Christmas shopping. More and more stores are opening on Thanksgiving day. Getting that super-amazing-discount-on-that-super-amazing-gift is so important that it certainly means that the store employees have no reason to have their own experiences, make their own memories with their families. And, to top it off, they can then be yelled at by the people who didn't get the deal before everyone else claimed it.
So, just because the stores may be open, it doesn't mean you have to go. After all, when your kid grows up and reflects on Holiday memories, she's probably not going to remember the great deal you got on that one present that one year you shopped on Thanksgiving. She's more likely to remember that one year you weren't with the family on Thanksgiving.