I was talking with my brother on the telephone the other day; he lives some thousand miles away from me. At some point during our conversation he mentioned that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Well, four months I told him. To which he replied, yeah that's not that long. This sparked my memory of last year. I remember standing in my grandmother's dining room filled to the brim with aunts and uncles, and cousins. There was the customary prayer, which I don't participate in, though I do lower my head out of respect for my elders. Then my grandmother, standing next to my grandfather said a few words. Something to the effect that she was so happy that we had all been able to make it (this was the first time in many years that EVERYONE in our family had been able to be there), and that they would be around to do it again next year. Next year would appear to be this year. It looks like they have a good chance of making it.
Last year about a week before Christmas (my personal favourite commercial holiday) my grandfather fell ill. He was out of the hospital in stable if not wonderful condition on Christmas Eve. I couldn't make it to their house for Christmas. I haven't been able to for several years because my job prohibited it. This also kept the rest of my immediate family from going to Iowa for Christmas as well, because they wanted to accommodate me. Now this disturbed me. Not because my family stayed for my sake, but because I couldn't get three lousy days off of work to go visit my family during the holiday season. The only reason that I was able to make it to see them on Thanksgiving was by giving a year's notice. I was only able to be there for one evening and one day and had to head home before thanksgiving was actually over because I had to be at work bright and shiny, before the sun was up, the day after Thanksgiving.
I realize that we live in a new fast-paced information age, whatever that's supposed to mean. And business moves along at a mile a minute and all of that good happy stuff. But would it actually kill anyone to close a store for a couple of days. Is slowing down business for a couple of days actually going to kill the high-power commercial holiday industry? I very much doubt so.
For some reason it just didn't seem like this was the case when I was a child. Sure I can chalk some of it up to my growing up and hitting the "real world". Seriously though, the world seems to have grown more and more greedy with the passing day. The veracious appetite for more! more! more! seems to be drowning the American family. It is drowning them in debt. It is drowning them in commercialism. It is drawing them away from each other.
Now it really doesn't matter if you are religious or not. This part of the year has a special meaning for nearly everyone. For me it means getting to see my family that I get to see, (at most) twice a year. Both of those times are in this one-month period. For some it is about gifts, for some it is about the food and candies. There is a place in this for almost anyone. Yes, some people are saddened by the holidays, but this is the case with any time of the year.
I understand that writing this little rant probably didn't accomplish anything except for losing me some xp. I just hope that someone understands that we need time to be together in the holiday season. That it's not about bloating your pocket book. Money is not the end-all-be-all of creation, and three days is not going to murder your profits. Anyway, for what it's worth, I hope someone can gain some insight from this trifle piece of digitized information.