The Greedy Slaughter of Holiday Traditions

I am livid this morning.  Let me tell you why.

Nowadays, there aren’t many American holidays left where American families reunite to celebrate as a family.  The only ones I can think of at the moment that are still held as a family affair may be Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Yet these are slowly disappearing – thanks in part to families being divided, or living too far apart, or from other outside sources.

In my family, Thanksgiving has always been the “big” family holiday.  Growing up, we didn’t always live close to our extended family, but when we did, I always remember Thanksgiving being a large family affair.  This continued on even when we moved away – mostly in part to the fact that my brother’s birthday and my birthday fall around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Now that I have a family of my own, and I also live far from my parents and brother, my family has continued with our own traditions of getting together with my family for Thanksgiving (as we always held that holiday nearer to our hearts), and my husband’s family for Christmas (the more important holiday to their family).  It has worked out well for us.

This year, my brother would like to host Thanksgiving.  A first for us.  The holiday also happens to fall smack dab on my birthday this year….being the 28th of November, although this can happen from time to time, it doesn’t happen very often.  Being on my birthday, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving just a tad bit more than usual.  And I am excited for my brother to be hosting this year.  I love spending time at his house in the woods.  He literally lives “over the river (and hills) and through the woods”.  I can’t wait!

Now this morning I find myself in a state of agitation.  My husband’s new employer (a restaurateur who just opened a new restaurant), has decided he wants to have his restaurant open on Thanksgiving day.  Of course he wants my husband, the Executive Chef, to work.  Blasphemy!  It’s businesses such as this that are slowly killing the traditions held dear to American families.  Is nothing sacred any longer?  I remember a time when businesses were closed for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Hell I remember driving to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving (a three-hour drive) and having trouble finding an open gas station.  First I noticed more and more businesses remaining open for Easter.  Then of course, grocery stores and gas stations remained opened for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  More recently, “Black Friday” started easing back into Thanksgiving day, killing family time for their employees for the sake of a greedy buck.  Now more and more businesses are remaining open – including restaurants – taking the family tradition of a home-cooked turkey feast and the unity of the family out of the home.  It makes me sad.  Thanksgiving will always be an at-home-holiday for me.  But now this year, greed is interfering with my life and wants to slaughter my holiday.  My birthday.  My family tradition.  Is there no sanctity of our holiday traditions any longer?  Isn’t it time for someone to take a stand?

Rockwell-freedom from want

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