The war on Christmas has claimed its first casualty: Thanksgiving.
What was once the sacred time to enjoy family and be grateful for small and simple pleasures has now been replaced with strategic offerings on how to beat the Black Friday rush.
How did we get to this place? Well… it’s been here all along. I remember back when I was twenty-something enjoying the holiday with my family eating turkey, collard greens and sweet potato pie all while watching Detroit and Dallas football games.
At that time, my immediate family was small. So, when the stuffing and conversation wore off, I headed for the meat market known as The Pub. That was the moment I realized the war was beginning.
When I walked through the bar’s front door, all I saw was a full dance floor and aisles cluttered with people filled with libation talking sloppy and poetically stumbling. My first thought wasn’t the usual “What chick can I spit game to?” It was “Why are people working?”.
I’d thought this was time to enjoy your parents’ company and catch up with the siblings. But yet, here I was in a club hunting for women and a buzz.
It wasn’t Thanksgiving anymore.
Another Thanksgiving-ish battle I recall was inside my 1996 Pontiac Grand Am. My wife and I were planning to buy a big screen television for a recently purchased home.
In previous times, we would use Black Friday to take advantage of the gifts we wanted to grab for our loved ones. But not this year. We decided to be selfish and get some of the big ticket items for ourselves. In the midwestern part of the U.S., especially in November, it gets cold. Very Cold! On top of that stress, try having to get up three in the morning to beat any kind of rush to the big box appliance store.
The store, HHGregg, was open at 6 a.m. We “camped out” in the parking two hours prior. My car’s heat was something to be desired. It seemed more like two days while waiting. Finally, we got inside and grabbed our Hitachi 46″ that we still have to this day.
The only problem: It was too big for the car. We had to shell out extra dough for the delivery the following weekend. What made it so sick was the sales guy’s smirk.
I’ve moved lots of TVs and appliances… and THIS is not going into your car.
I hate smirking.
WHAT’S YOUR POINT, FREEZE?!?
The slow march to this new outrage is that we did it to ourselves. We are forever young, horny alcoholics that want the biggest, baddest, more gigabyte gadget cheaper and sooner than last year when we had to wait at midnight. After the turkey dinner, Thanksgiving is no more. It’s just November 28. Companies are taking notice and have taken the “holi” out of the day. While others blame Obama.
Wasn’t the overall purpose of Thanksgiving giving thanks? It’s been swallowed up whole and now a shopping day like the rest of days after it. We can debate about the true origins of Thanksgiving and how we arrived at the modern rendition of it, but the commercialization of Turkey Day is on the rise as we continually whistle pass the graveyard.
R.I.P Thanksgiving. You will be missed.
TURKEY ON A PIZZA PIZZA
One small whole-wheat pita
One-fourth cup marinara sauce
One green onion
Two tablespoons part-skim mozzarella cheese
Three (or six) turkey meatballs
Heat the oven to 475 degrees, wait six minutes, it’s done.*
*Not to be had on Thanksgiving.
LAST WEEK: 7-7
|THU, NOV 14||TIME (ET)|
|Indianapolis at Tennessee||8:25 PM||INDIANAPOLIS|
|SUN, NOV 17||TIME (ET)|
|NY Jets at Buffalo||1:00 PM||NEW YORK|
|Baltimore at Chicago||1:00 PM||CHICAGO|
|Cleveland at Cincinnati||1:00 PM||CINCINNATI|
|Washington at Philadelphia||1:00 PM||PHILADELPHIA|
|Detroit at Pittsburgh||1:00 PM||PITTSBURGH|
|Atlanta at Tampa Bay||1:00 PM||ATLANTA|
|Arizona at Jacksonville||1:00 PM||ARIZONA|
|Oakland at Houston||1:00 PM||HOUSTON|
|San Diego at Miami||4:05 PM||SAN DIEGO|
|San Francisco at New Orleans||4:25 PM||NEW ORLEANS|
|Green Bay at NY Giants||4:25 PM||GREEN BAY|
|Minnesota at Seattle||4:25 PM||SEATTLE|
|Kansas City at Denver||8:30 PM||KANSAS CITY|
|MON, NOV 18||TIME (ET)|
|New England at Carolina||8:30 PM||NEW ENGLAND|
|·Bye: Dallas, St. Louis|
I was interviewing a chief executive for a feature about female CEOs. During our conversation, she brought up the idea of “having it all”. She mentioned that it all boiled down to flexibility.
The woman, who owns a waste management firm, said it is up to the individual to know what “all” is. She narrowed it down to organization and flexibility. That got me thinking about my own memes of “having it all” and achieving general success.
Being organized is essential in my line of work. I wouldn’t know how to manage if I wasn’t in order. I’m at the point where I treat it as a game. I have an app to manage my time for certain projects. It’s a race to get as much done in a small lot of time. Add the urge to make lists and folders on any device I can get hands on, my little culture keeps me motivated and efficient.
But not every day’s the same. There are roadblocks and detours to get around. Organization is a daily mission, a mission of flexibility that exposes whether we have a Plan A, B, C and beyond. It’s a skill.
I actually learned it from a woman. One of my most influential bosses, she taught me the whole theory of organization and how to move on the fly. At the time, I thought it was a waste of time. I’d had to make a list for every job responsibility bestow upon me. Then, write a line-by-line description of every move I made. It was grueling as much as it was mundane.
The motto was, “write it as if a 12-year-old boy could read the instructions and do your job”. Not that my job was so pathetic that a pre-teen could do it (it wasn’t, it was awesome) but in short, the plan was to keep it simple.
I was doing it so much that before long I looked forward to chronicling my work. The decrease of stress and worry was immediate when I dove into work projects. I was engaged and wanting to improve. It lead to raises, more responsibility and job security. When my boss wanted to know what I did, all I needed was a chart or folder to put on her desk.
The ability to navigate my mission of flexibility has been one of my admiring professional qualities. I still have all the charts and folders I made along with other plots and procedure manual I’ve made since then. It’s still helping me to find work and staying on top of workday.
What is your idea of “having it all”?
An Organized and Flexible Casserole
Six ounces of lean ground beef
1/3 cup diced onion
One crushed clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
One and 3/4 cup of cooked brown rice
3/4 cup salsa
One tablespoon diced cilantro
Two tablespoons of Mexican shredded
LAST WEEK: 7-6
|THU, NOV 7||TIME (ET)|
|Washington at Minnesota||8:25 PM||WASHINGTON|
|SUN, NOV 10||TIME (ET)|
|Seattle at Atlanta||1:00 PM||SEATTLE|
|Detroit at Chicago||1:00 PM||DETROIT|
|Philadelphia at Green Bay||1:00 PM||PHILADELPHIA|
|Jacksonville at Tennessee||1:00 PM||TENNESSEE|
|St. Louis at Indianapolis||1:00 PM||INDIANAPOLIS|
|Oakland at NY Giants||1:00 PM||OAKLAND|
|Buffalo at Pittsburgh||1:00 PM||PITTSBURGH|
|Cincinnati at Baltimore||1:00 PM||CINCINNATI|
|Carolina at San Francisco||4:05 PM||SAN FRANCISCO|
|Houston at Arizona||4:25 PM||ARIZONA|
|Denver at San Diego||4:25 PM||DENVER|
|Dallas at New Orleans||8:30 PM||NEW ORLEANS|
|MON, NOV 11||TIME (ET)|
|Miami at Tampa Bay||8:30 PM||MIAMI|
|·Bye: Cleveland, Kansas City, New England, NY Jets|