Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Surviving Thanksgiving and Black Friday

 

I love watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade while I prepare food. Loved Snoopy’s NASA outfit this year, and the cheerleaders, but not performing to a RuPaul song. Santa coming down past Macy’s is to me, the official kick-off.

I don’t know why, but my husband loves Black Friday. He says it gets him into the Christmas spirit to get out early, mingle with all the shoppers and find great deals – so we did that – again.

But let’s address “Thanks”-giving. Our gathering was really nice. My brother-in-law smoked a turkey breast on his smoker dashed with some Cajun seasoning. We had cornbread stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cobbler, and apple and pumpkin pies – a respectable Southern gathering, minus our last remaining parent. My mother-in-law passed in April, the week of Easter. This is the first year my husband, me and his family will have holidays without her or any parent.

My mother-in-law loved holidays and was complicated. She adored decorations, baking, crafts, and I have ornaments and many memories from her. I married into a complicated family. There was substance abuse. My husband always asked me over the years to “call and see how my mother is doing,” even when his dad was alive. She said she felt like she gave birth to me, a second daughter. We’d meet for lunch, share favorite novels, pick out pumpkins in the fall and then she would ignore my calls and only call my husband’s cell phone. Life and families are complicated. I look back and see how much, and yet how loving at the same time. Does this describe most families?

It’s hardest on my sister-in-law, who hosted. So, she messed up the Pillsbury pop open crescent rolls. We laughed – they were funny shaped. The South is forgiving, and this year we will embrace it without a parent. My husband is in good spirits. Health issues cropped up among several family members this year, an 81-year-old aunt is thinking about retiring, a manager of gospel bands for decades. I am going to eat leftovers in a minute, but let’s talk about Black Friday.

We hit the road around 9 a.m. – our local discount outlets were packed – not one parking place. It was the same at 2 p.m. when we drove past. I skipped using my coupon at Fossil. I struggle with feeling guilty. I have a needy niece and nephew, both now 30 and 32. More dysfunction from a messed-up dad. I send gifts, never get a card or a thank you, but I try to help my sister out. I’m trying to be creative this year without spending much. I sometimes feel like it’s charity – I give this time of year to several, why not family? We can’t go back and do it over. They made their life choices.

We went to Lowe’s to buy water sealant and stain for my new garden bench, my husband’s gift to me. He said find one you like – I wanted American-made. I found a Texas company on Etsy – it’s perfect. In Lowe’s, an elderly veteran (from the cap and medals) shuffled down the aisle with his My Pillow purchase, just asking at random are these any good? One lady said yes, we have those. I said I love mine. That was enough confirmation for our soldier. He was so cheerful.

I’ve never seen it so busy here – massively long lines of cars, shoppers everywhere. I read this morning before leaving, that journalist Maureen Dowd turns over her NYT column to her brother on Thanksgiving. She can’t stand Trump, her brother is a supporter. It was delightful, and she offered a disclaimer.

Another story was about BET’s founder who said that 2020 is Trump’s to lose. He said there is no one on the Democratic side that stands out, and with this great economy, the lowest black unemployment ever, they can hardly dispute his multiple successes. Interesting. I can attest to the hundreds of shoppers in our area that this is true.

So the official holiday kick-off is here. I think about family, the importance of holding up tradition, and filling in for those who are no longer with us, by just gathering, baking, telling jokes, buying gifts for those that need a reminder that someone cares, and how time can heal wounds.

The magic of the holidays is here – let’s enjoy every minute.

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There are 9 comments.

  1. Gary McVey Contributor

    The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been on New York TV since 1947, went to cities in the northeast and midwest over the following couple of years, and has been seen nationally since 1952. Since 1954, it’s also been a great showcase for color television.

    As is Los Angeles’ own Rose Bowl parade. The message of the Macy’s parade is “Christmas is almost here–go to a store and spend!” And the message of the Rose Bowl parade (pardon me, “Tournament of Roses”) is, “Look how warm we are while you folks are freezing!”

    I have to say, the one thing I like about Maureen Dowd is her annual willingness to give the column to her brother. It’s a classy thing to do. 

    • #1
    • November 29, 2019, at 6:46 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. OldPhil Coolidge

    I turned on the TV when the parade was supposed to start, and was treated to lip-syncing Broadway performers cavorting on the street, reminiscenses of unknown or half-baked “celebrities” about past parades, Macy’s commercials, and Al Roker wearing a Michael Dukakis helmet and braying like an a**.

    I turned it off after 25 minutes

    • #2
    • November 29, 2019, at 7:08 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat Post author

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    I turned on the TV when the parade was supposed to start, and was treated to lip-syncing Broadway performers cavorting on the street, reminiscenses of unknown or half-baked “celebrities” about past parades, Macy’s commercials, and Al Roker wearing a Michael Dukakis helmet and braying like an a**.

    I turned it off after 25 minutes

    That was NBC – but CBS had none of that, just marching bands and the balloons. It went off at noon Eastern while NBC stayed on. You are right – I couldn’t watch that station either.

    • #3
    • November 30, 2019, at 5:20 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat Post author

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been on New York TV since 1947, went to cities in the northeast and midwest over the following couple of years, and has been seen nationally since 1952. Since 1954, it’s also been a great showcase for color television.

    As is Los Angeles’ own Rose Bowl parade. The message of the Macy’s parade is “Christmas is almost here–go to a store and spend!” And the message of the Rose Bowl parade (pardon me, “Tournament of Roses”) is, “Look how warm we are while you folks are freezing!”

    I have to say, the one thing I like about Maureen Dowd is her annual willingness to give the column to her brother. It’s a classy thing to do.

    I love the Rose Bowl too but I always think what a waste of all those beautiful flowers…..I wonder if the huge homelessness tent city in LA will impact the parade?

    • #4
    • November 30, 2019, at 5:23 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. EB Thatcher
    EB

    Front Seat Cat: I’ve never seen it so busy here – massively long lines of cars, shoppers everywhere.

    I’ve never been able to imagine anything I would want badly enough to go shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

     

    The article by Kevin Dowd and the one about Robert Johnson were both encouraging.

    • #5
    • November 30, 2019, at 6:56 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Gary McVey Contributor

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been on New York TV since 1947, went to cities in the northeast and midwest over the following couple of years, and has been seen nationally since 1952. Since 1954, it’s also been a great showcase for color television.

    As is Los Angeles’ own Rose Bowl parade. The message of the Macy’s parade is “Christmas is almost here–go to a store and spend!” And the message of the Rose Bowl parade (pardon me, “Tournament of Roses”) is, “Look how warm we are while you folks are freezing!”

    I have to say, the one thing I like about Maureen Dowd is her annual willingness to give the column to her brother. It’s a classy thing to do.

    I love the Rose Bowl too but I always think what a waste of all those beautiful flowers…..I wonder if the huge homelessness tent city in LA will impact the parade?

    For two years, my wife’s girl scout troop were volunteers assembling the parade float flower arrangements. She described an interesting process that’s been refined over decades; refrigerated trucks for the flowers, mini-vases on each stem to keep them fresh on parade day, chicken wire frameworks that hold the arrangements in place. The parade makes an effort to donate flowers after the show, but they’re flowers, with a short shelf life. It’s not a waste; they’re for show, just like the ones at the main entrance of Disneyland. 

    L.A. County is more than 4700 square miles. No visitor to the Rose Bowl is likely to see any homeless people. Skid Row is about 15 miles away from Pasadena. Lately, the courts have made it worse, but L.A. has been liberal the whole time I’ve lived here, and homelessness wasn’t that big a problem before the judges prevented the city from dealing with it. It has been a problem ever since hobos hitched rides on freight trains away from cold weather in the winter. 

    • #6
    • November 30, 2019, at 1:07 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    We went out for Thanksgiving dinner, and had a nice one. No fuss, no muss, no bother, no cooking. Although the Bellevue Square Mall parking lot was full. We went shopping yesterday, on our way back from our excursion up to Snoqualmie Falls (report and pictures here). We went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a bunch of books, and one movie. Came home and watched Local Hero.

    My online shopping was for necessities! Cat food and new slippers to replace the ones that are falling apart.

    And the Downtown Seattle Macy’s is closing, so their parade was their final one.

    • #7
    • November 30, 2019, at 6:55 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat Post author

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    We went out for Thanksgiving dinner, and had a nice one. No fuss, no muss, no bother, no cooking. Although the Bellevue Square Mall parking lot was full. We went shopping yesterday, on our way back from our excursion up to Snoqualmie Falls (report and pictures here). We went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a bunch of books, and one movie. Came home and watched Local Hero.

    My online shopping was for necessities! Cat food and new slippers to replace the ones that are falling apart.

    And the Downtown Seattle Macy’s is closing, so their parade was their final one.

    Why is the Macy’s closing? That’s a big deal.

    • #8
    • December 1, 2019, at 5:44 AM PST
    • Like
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    This story from MyNorthwest.com, in October. The closing was announced in mid-September.

    Little is known about the reasons for the [Macy’s downtown store] closure, though many retail stores have strained under the rise of online shopping. The Times notes that while Macy’s occupies three floors of the downtown building, Amazon has offices in the top six.

    The corner of Third and Pine has also become notorious for its crime. Employees at nearby offices have come to refer to this stretch of Third Avenue as “Stab Alley.” This area was also part of Seattle’s 9.5 blocks plan in 2015 which involved mass arrests of drug dealers and other suspects. Two years later, crime was noticeably on the rise again along Third Avenue.

    *The area around Third Avenue has become known for mentally-ill homeless people wandering around, and open-air drug markets. I have posted many times about this issue, which is an indication of deteriorating livability in Seattle.

    • #9
    • December 1, 2019, at 12:02 PM PST
    • Like