Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'm kind of a jerk.

I got into a little tiff on Facebook today with someone who posted a meme about how you should boycott stores on Thanksgiving so people can be with their families. I mean, you are basically assuming we all like Thanksgiving and enjoy spending hours and hours with family while gorging on food and counting our blessings.

But here's a newsflash- not everybody likes Thanksgiving. I kind of hate Thanksgiving.

There. I said it. I hate Thanksgiving and it doesn't make me an ungrateful asshole. It just means I really hate Thanksgiving.

You want to talk about a Hallmark holiday. Yes, Valentine's Day is kind of a joke except I love conversation hearts, boxes of truffles and those cinnamon jelly hearts. YUM. Thanksgiving doesn't even have a candy I can get excited about. Then we're celebrating pilgrims and a dinner between white people and Native Americans and we all know that wasn't a big love fest so we're celebrating something that wasn't that great. There was no truce, it was like one day, one meal and then bam- we're still going to take your land and all of your goodies so sucky for you, but here- take some corn bread for your hike back to camp before we kill you all. I also feel like it's become the cool thing to bash Christmas and trump up Thanksgiving. You don't look like a nicer person by saying you just count your blessings and are extra thankful.

But let's bring it back to modern day. I hate Thanksgiving because of all of the work involved. You get up early, you put the turkey in the god damn oven and now you can't leave your house because your luck a fire will start so you're home. All day. If you didn't prep anything the day before you are slaving all god damn day in the kitchen. Everyone else is watching TV and having the time of their lives while you are peeling potatoes wondering why you're doing this, you don't even like god damn potatoes. By the time dinner happens- you are so over it that none of the food is even appealing. Then you have what, ten minutes eating? Then you get to clean every piece of service ware and dish you own because it was all involved in some part of the process. Then people go home.

And it's 2pm because for whatever reason, people want to eat "dinner" at 12 or 1 in the afternoon. And that sucks because by the time dinner actually rolls around, you're starving. I get bored- I want to go shopping or pretty much anything and the only thing open is McDonald's. I also never feel thankful on Thanksgiving. I feel angry. And tired. And resentful that this is yet another forced holiday that I am socially required to partake in and it's upsetting.

So thank the lord I have something to do on Thanksgiving. And I'm not alone- apparently lots of my friends could care less about Thanksgiving. Please. At this time of year if you have an employer offering you double time or some kind of incentive to work the rush of Black Friday, not many people are going to turn that down.

But Christmas? Christmas is the best time of year. It really is. The entire month of December I feel happy. I feel like I enjoy the time with my kids far more because they are so excited about it. Between houses all decorated, fun holiday things in the community, nights out, shopping at night (still one of my favorite things, only in December though), fun desserts, Christmas movies, crafts, games, wrapping gifts, decorating the house/tree, etc- all of it makes me happy. I love shopping for gifts and trying to find something perfect. I like buying gifts for people who I know aren't going to get me a gift and surprising them with it. I like feeling like I can give someone else my time and a token of my gratitude for them in my life. Like over the top happy. It's during all of these things that I really take the top to stop and appreciate what I do have. I see my blessings so much clearer and I feel a sense of calm joy to life.

And that's what thankfulness should be. The calm joy that lets you look at life through a different lens. If only for a few moments. Do you know how I know the majority of people don't get it? Lack of Christmas cards. I get teased about this often and I don't care. I stand firm that there is something really wrong with you if you don't mail out Christmas cards. Don't even get me started on photo cards- putting a picture in the mail does not count as a god damn card you lazy ass. Christmas and New Years is when you reflect on our year and project for the next- share that with people who get your cards. It's how you maintain a connection with others. I'm a huge proponent of holiday cards and I hate, hate, HATE when people are like, "I don't have time for that"- you god damn make time. If you can find time to watch TV, you have time to send out cards. Oh here's another one "I can't afford all of that". Dude. DUDES. You can buy packs of cards at any dollar store. Trust me when I say nobody cares where your card came from. (*Except when you buy some from me. They'll be wowed! *shameless plug*)

So before you rail on some of us who can't stand Thanksgiving and are very much not boycotting shopping on Thanksgiving- look are your practices first. Go ahead and boycott, that's your god given right to stay at home on Thanksgiving and be with your family. Enjoy your time. But just think- there are a lot of families who could really use the extra income. It'd be nice if nobody relied on overtime or holiday pay, but for some- that's what pays the bills.


Ruth said...

I was talking to my husband about this just tonight. Twenty years ago stores were open on Thanksgiving. I remember one year that my inlaws got all their Christmas shopping done on that day. Then all of a sudden all the stores closed for family time and now if they open it's a sin. Doesn't anyone remember that?
The reason I hate going anywhere on Thanksgiving is because of the way it's done. My way is putting out snack stuff early on and have the turkey and stuff at about 3 or 4. No getting up early to get the turkey ready.

Martha Hokenson said...

All I have to say is AMEN. As someone who has spent years working on Thanksgiving, I cringe when people say they're going to boycott shopping on those days--people, that holiday overtime goes a LONG way toward keeping my heating bill paid and food on my table during another winter month!! If everyone stayed home and didn't spend money, it would mean less hours and less of a paycheck for a lot of people who are struggling to make ends meet, so don't be such a self-righteous asshole about it. If you want to stay home, fine. But don't shame people who just don't care so much about the holiday and don't try to make the rest of us look like martyrs for your cause--I want that money and I'm happy to work for it, and if someone wants to spend it I'm happy to take it!

I also love Christmas more. I feel more thankful and much happier during the Christmas season than I ever could while being forced to feed and then clean up after legions of people who won't even offer to take out the trash. That's not a very good holiday for inner peace and joy, methinks.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Yeah, as someone who always volunteered to work Thanksgiving or Black Friday (I worked in fast food & grocery stores) I still don't get the hating on shopping. Maybe leaving the house at 2am Thanksgiving morning to stand in line at Best Buy for the 1am Friday opening is the sort of bonding your family does best.
I know my family bonds better at the mall or in a restaurant than it does sitting around someone's house.

Especially since as a female I feel obligated to offer to help out and I hate helping out. I came over to your house so I wouldn't have to do anything. I could have stayed home and cooked & cleaned and known where everything I needed was without having to ask every 30 seconds where you keep the whatever it is.

I don't hate the holiday but I can see why people do. We tend to go out to eat on Thanksgiving because while I enjoy cooking I do not enjoy the 'what are you making' pressure. What am I making? Reservations. No cooking, no cleaning, just show up, eat & hand over the cash. We're having BBQ pork & chicken from the local BBQ joint this year. Last year we went to Uno's Pizzaria.

So I suppose I am part of the problem. Someone, who knew damn well what they getting into when they accepted the job, is missing their own supper to serve me mine.

And I can't quite bring myself to feel guilty about it.

elaine Gallagher said...

Amen Sister. I hate Thanksgiving. Thankful for a meal that takes upwards of three days to cook and 20 minutes to eat. It is ridiculous.

Julie H said...

What? There is no comments here? Maybe you have to approve them first? lol

I kind of feel the opposite. I like Thanksgiving because it's no pressure. We have it at my brother's house and everyone contributes to the meal so no one person is doing all the work. We all wash the dishes afterwards together too (well the girls anyways ;). Christmas to me is just pressure to buy gifts that no one really needs and I hate spending money because I have to. My kids are all older now so they don't get excited to see Christmas lights, Santa doesn't exist and we've watched all those movies 1000 times.

Josie said...

Whenever you talk about sending cards, I think, "I really should send out Christmas cards. Who wouldn't want a picture of me and my girls?...probably no one but my Grandma...maybe a couple other people. But I guess it would be a nice gesture anyways."...... I think you've got me convinced, though. I'm doing cards this year.

Why Girls Are Weird said...

I'm all about people working on Thanksgiving. If they want to. What makes me mad is feeling bullied into working.

I'm lucky to be at a job right now where if there isn't enough people to work on Thanksgiving (it's volunteer only) then we don't open. But when I worked for a corporate place I was forced to work 2 holidays out of 6 - Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day. That? Is bullshit. Back when my family traveled to Illinois for Holidays I had to BEG to have them off. Because if I didn't? I was alone for those holidays. Alone.

So. I think that people have the right to work. And people have the right to go to those places that are open. And it's not hateful towards Thanksgiving. People celebrate different things in different ways.

However I think for people who do want to celebrate those holidays, they should be allowed. Without someone being hateful towards them or without repercussions.

That said, I'm psyched to work Christmas Eve again this year. I volunteered to open because last year my tip percentage was 40%. Ridiculous. I'm hopefully I'll do just as awesome this year!

AND my novel is over ;-)