Why Stores Open on Thanksgiving Have Ruined Tradition

Verse-Picture-1-Thessalonians-5_18It all started back when my sister and I were teenagers. We decided we wanted to ‘check out’ what kind of deals the stores had the day after Thanksgiving. We split our parents gifts so why not save a few extra bucks and maybe also buy something extra for ourselves (that was of course, always my thinking!)?

For you young kids, there was a store called Mervyn’s that ran this hilarious commercial with a woman waiting for the store to open. She was up against the door window saying ‘Open, open, open’. It still makes me laugh to think about. It’s amazing the things people will (and will not) wait for.

And so the tradition began! Bright and early after each Thanksgiving, my sister and I would get up and go shopping. The tradition never changed. I made breakfast that consisted of toast with butter and jelly as well as packing along waters, apples and the my aunt’s famous pumpkin bread for the long day ahead. We both wore sweatpants and I would have to wake my sister up (a few times!) to keep with our schedule. Schedule? Oh yes, we had a schedule. We mapped out our stores along with times we had at each store and coupons/deals. We each had a copy we guarded with our life (I can’t tell you how many times we were pushed in stores!).

We’d start at Kohl’s (it always opened the earliest) then head off to Sears for my dad, then JC Penney for the free ornament (yep, you get a free ornament for being an ‘early bird’ which we were every year!) and then Panera for food around 8:30AM to which we’re quite delirious and then from there it was the usual, Victoria’s Secret, Express, Limited, Macy’s, etc. Our store choices have changed over the years and our needs (bye bye clothes for ourselves hello housewares) but still…it was tradition, it was our tradition.

But now, that is gone. That is gone because Kohl’s, Target, Macy’s and all you other A-HOLE stores decided you weren’t making enough money that you needed to be open on Thanksgiving Day. Really? No, really?

My sister and I refuse to go out on Thanksgiving. This is a day to give thanks and spend with family and friends. The fact that these stores are now open is a mockery to the holiday. To make your employees work is truly a shame and it has ruined the tradition of Thanksgiving.

It has ruined a day devoted to giving thanks with family and friends all for some added revenue in the books. I’d like to see the CEO of Kohl’s or Macy’s in one of their stores on Thanksgiving Day. You want your stores to be open? Then you should be working! Sure, people may argue with me and say that I went out in the madness and I did. It was fun as hell and my sister and I have some memories and moments we will never forget, but it wasn’t on Thanksgiving Day. Was it at 5AM the following day? You bet! But it wasn’t on Thanksgiving.

What is wrong with our society? Since when did we think it was okay to put materialistic things before values? Since when did the latest ‘toy’ that every child wants or the biggest flat screen you can get become priority over spending time with family and friends? Is that what we’re teaching our children? Money triumphs all? I sure hope not.

We don’t exchange Christmas presents in my family of origin anymore (we stopped a while back). Each year, one of the couples (my parents, my sister and her husband or me and my husband) plan an outing or event we all pay our own way and go to. Instead of buying gifts, we value the time spent together as a family so that is what we do. Many of you might be thinking, so what did my sister and I go out to get? Well, we both got engaged, got married and moved so let’s just say there were a lot of things each year we found we needed (or didn’t need and bought anyways!).

I’m not here to judge by any means, this is just the tradition we’ve developed and continue. Here is what I would like to say though: If you choose to go out on Thanksgiving day to buy presents for yourself and others, then that’s up to you, I just know that I cannot support it. I cannot support making people work on a day they deserve to be home with their families. Maybe this year we can all focus on the simple things. The blessings we’ve been given, the priceless gifts we have and the family members surrounding us…because you never truly know when that can all be taken away from you…and it can be, in an instance! Wishing all of you a happy, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving!

It Will Never Again Be The Same…

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I knew after I got pregnant that my body would never again be the same. I mean, how could it be? I was going to be pushing a baby out of my lady parts! But that wasn’t the only thing that was going to change with regards to my body, and I thought I was okay with that. Heck, if celebrities can get back into amazing shape I should be able to, right? As US Weekly states, ‘stars…they’re just like us!’. WRONG.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. First off, celebrities are not real. It’s kind of like the awful movie Elysium with Matt Damon. Celebrities live in a different world where they have privileges to things us common folk do not. So with that being said, I really can’t compare myself to these ‘elitists’. In talking with my mom friends, they told me, ‘it took nine months to put it on, it will take about nine months to come off.’ I still thought I was okay with that. But as my nine month mark hit and I had gained a whooping 47 pounds, I started to wonder how I was going to lose all this weight.

At first I was able to breastfeed and I thought, great!, I’ll lose the weight super quick. But after an exhausting few weeks and a ton of issues with not producing enough and Emma losing weight, I had to stop and start formula. So there went that idea! I figured the stress of being a new mom would help as terrible as that sounds. I never had time for myself so eating wasn’t really an option, it was more of a luxury. If I got a meal, amazing, if I didn’t, expected. But when I did have the time it was the food that wasn’t helping, like candy at 4am or Doritos for breakfast.

As her schedule got easier, I was able to eat more. I tried to be more healthy but some days it was two glasses of wine for dinner! I wasn’t gaining weight but I wasn’t losing weight either. Everyone kept telling me ‘You look great’, or ‘You just had a baby!’ but none of it helped. I started working out and felt like I was looking a little thinner but then Thanksgiving hit…or should I say reality.

As a mom, you don’t really have the time to get dressed up, especially when you’re home with kids. You run errands in sweatpants and no makeup and you don’t care. Who are you trying to impress? No one. You’re just trying to get stuff done. And when it’s time to get ready to go somewhere you’re not thinking about yourself, you’re thinking about what your kids will wear (then your husband). You find outfits for them and worry about yourself last…at least for me. So when I finally found Emma the cutest outfit for Thanksgiving, I wanted to be in similar colors. I didn’t have time to buy something (another part of motherhood, insane time constraints) so I remembered having a top and skirt in my closet that would be perfect. It was settled! We are all set. WRONG.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was in those two hours before we had to leave for Thanksgiving dinner that I realized my body will never again be the same. Don’t get me wrong, I thought about this before, I guess just because now that she’s approaching six months I thought I would be ‘skinny me’ again. But ‘skinny me’ doesn’t exist anymore, and even if she eventually does, she will be a different ‘skinny me’.

As I tried on what I thought to be my perfect Thanksgiving outfit I had a top that couldn’t properly contain my ‘larger than I would like them’ breasts I now have and a skirt that zipping up was completely out of the question. So there I stood in the mirror trying not to cry. I tried other options. Too tight, doesn’t fit, too tight, too tight, too tight!!! When was I a toothpick? How did I seriously once fit in these clothes? And also, why the heck did I buy everything so tight? Apparently my skinny ass could wear tops that stuck to my stomach because I didn’t have this baby pooch! So I stomped around the house and told my husband “I’m staying home” to which he already knew what I was upset about. I finally stopped and realized how ungrateful I was being. I have a beautiful, healthy daughter and I gave birth to that beautiful, healthy daughter. Maybe if I didn’t gain 47 pounds and got into the accident I did she wouldn’t be here.

So yes…my body will never again be the same. My hips are wider, everything looks different and I’m definitely not ‘skinny me’ anymore but I can get there. I can get to a size that makes me happy, even if it isn’t the size I once was. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in physical appearances we forget what really matters. We lose sight of what’s important because we’re memorized by the outer shell. Ever buy a pair of shoes that were insanely uncomfortable but looked amazing? Mine are in a box in our basement, half a size too small but oh how I loved those pumps. Or what about dating someone purely based on their looks alone? How did that work out for you? We all can be vain in some way or another. I know I have been recently…I’ve been so focused on not being the ‘skinny me’ that I forget about the rest of me! I become angry, upset, jealous, bitter and lots of things I don’t like being. I become ‘evil’ me and no good comes from evil.

My body will never again be the same. And I’m okay with that. I’m okay with not being ‘celebrity skinny’. I’m okay with not being old ‘skinny me’. I’m okay with it all because I received the most beautiful gift from God and if that meant changing me to do so, then I’m okay with it. I really, really am.