Wednesday, November 24, 2010
So it's come down to this?
Is it my imagination or do the retailers start pushing the holiday season earlier every year? Two weeks prior to Halloween I remember walking into Target to get some Halloween decorations and the stockers were busy putting Christmas things on the shelves. Fleet Farm, who has been famous in our area for opening up toyland the day after Thanksgiving, opened it this year the day after Halloween. As I was doing my Thanksgiving grocery shopping last Friday, I did it to the tune of Jingle Bells. What happened to Thanksgiving? Where did it get lost?
For me, Thanksgiving has always been the "Kickoff" to the holiday season, the holiday that puts you in the mood for family gatherings and the time to reflect on all the things you have to be thankful for. As a kid, I remember my mother started her baking and lefse making prior to Thanksgiving because we always had a table full of people that enjoyed her homemade goodies. Several weeks in advance she would issue the dinner invitations and each one was reciprocated with "What can I bring?"
Thanksgiving morning was always started by going to church with all the beautiful fall decorations, the sun shining through the stained glass windows and a sermon on all the things we had to be thankful for. Then it was home to a table that was always laden to the breaking point with each lady's specialty that everyone ooohed and aaawed over and inhaled as everything was passed around the table. Then it was nap time for the adults and if there was snow on the ground (which there certainly is this year) it was outside for the kids with snowsuits and sleds. Later on all the leftovers came out again and we filled up with turkey sandwiches on homemade dark buns. Believe it or not there were still leftover-leftovers to put away again. Following kitchen cleanup the cards came out and a few games of whist for the adults and go to the dump for the kids followed.
It seems that the days of celebrating each holiday individually are gone - and I miss it. Our world is turning so fast these days that life is being rushed. It's all about the money - who can have the best sales and get the most people into the stores on Black Friday. It would be a cold day in you-know-where before I would go shopping on Black Friday. There is NOTHING that I need so badly nor is the sale that good that I would get up in the wee hours of the morning and go stand in line to get "whatever." Last year at one of the stores in our local area there were several people that got injured when they were pushed through the glass doors of the store by the crowd behind. These hard core shoppers are crazy. And the retailers aren't much better. We have one store in our local area that is opening at MIDNIGHT on Thanksgiving night - not 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning like most of them do in our area, but MIDNIGHT!!
Our minister announced last Sunday that there isn't even going to be a Thanksgiving Day church service this year!! He didn't say why, just that there wasn't going to be one. This man needs to be talked to - but that's an entry for another day. Maybe he and his wife are resting up for Black Friday?
I've been busy doing some "pre"cooking this week. So far there are two batches of fudge, one chocolate, one peanut butter, a double batch of cheesecake bars, a double batch of party mix and a double batch of no-bake fudge cookies. There's also a carmel apple pie, a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie.
On the menu for Thursday:
Turkey with wild rice stuffing
Mashed potatoes with gravy (of course)
Candied sweet potatoes
Copper pennies (sweet and sour carrots)
Green bean casserole (what would Thanksgiving be without that?)
Norwegian flat bread
Mandarin orange salad
Lingon berries with cream (mmmm - they are so good)
You're all invited.