Thanksgiving didn’t disappear suddenly; it suffered the torture of a thousand cuts, the old Chinese water torture, that destroyed the holiday hour by hour until nothing was left. That’s not to say that Thanksgiving ever was like Norman Rockwell pictured it, certainly not where I grew up. I remember the smell of turkey cooking mixed with the sounds and sights of two NFL football games (Detroit in the morning and Dallas in the afternoon) and usually the Texas/Texas A@M battle very early on the west coast. I wasn’t even a fan of those two schools, but it was a football game.
I suppose that any child of a Detroit Lion player probably never saw his father at Thanksgiving. That was probably the first step towards the ultimate elimination of Thanksgiving. I talked with a cashier at my local market and found that Thanksgiving meant little to her because she’s scheduled to work all day. Well, I thought, at least she can enjoy the holiday once she goes home.
WalMart as well as Best Buy and a host of other companies have decided that Black Friday sales should start on Thursday. They’ll give families a couple of hours to eat dinner before their doors open for sales so good that they’re mouth watering. Of course, if you want the limited items on sale, you have to line up during Thanksgiving afternoon and probably pack a turkey sandwich.
We still celebrate Thanksgiving in our family, but it’s like pointing to my bookcase full of real books and not digital copies. I know that there are probably a colony of book bugs eating away at the books until there’s very little left. Similarly, Thanksgiving will probably be just a distant memory when Black Thursday morphs into Black Wednesday AND Thursday and Friday; let’s plan on having a black Thanksgiving in the future.