Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Is Not For Shopping

Tomorrow I will buy a turkey breast to cook for Thanksgiving.  It's my turn to cook.  I won't buy a whole turkey, because there will only be five people around our Thanksgiving table, and we certainly don't want to be eating leftovers into mid-December.

This is not an advertisement for Harris Teeter, my grocery store "home," but that's probably where I will go to purchase my turkey breast.  I usually know where to find things, even though it is my husband who does the grocery shopping 99% of the time.  Five minutes from my house by car, I will drive there, plunk the turkey breast in my shopping cart, roll my cart to the check out counter where they will scan it and put it back in the cart for me to push out to my car.  When I get home, I'll carry it to my refrigerator where I'll place it until it's time to cook it the next day.  It will take a half hour at the most to get my turkey.

It was different for my mother when I was growing up.  She used to journey to downtown Tokyo on two separate trains to purchase our turkey.  It took her well over an hour just to get to Kinokuniya, the import store where American food like peanut butter, popcorn, corn flakes, or a turkey could be purchased. Once she selected our turkey, she placed it in the large, sturdy bag she took with her to the store, packing it carefully among a few choice other items she felt she could manage to carry home along with the turkey.  She then began her trip back to our house in Mitaka, first hauling the twelve pound bird to the train station.  She placed it on the seat next to her (if there was room) on the train, and then an hour later put it into the wicker basket on the front of her bicycle to peddle it home.  It took practically the entire day to buy the turkey.

I am thankful for my mother who went to extra efforts to make sure that we celebrated Thanksgiving and got to know this holiday.  We celebrated it, even though nobody else in our neighborhood did.  She showed me the importance of this most precious of holidays where we stop, come together, and give thanks.  It is my favorite holiday.  I enjoy its slow pace, the purposeful time in which we are together just for the sake of being together, and count all the ways in which we are blessed.

So when our commercial world marches on to take away even this, this one single day when we pause to give thanks, I will not participate.    I will never, ever, shop on Thanksgiving Day.  I will remember those stores who opened on this holiday.  For the rest of the holiday shopping season, I choose not shop there.   It's that important to me.

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