I remember Thanksgiving. 30 years ago, in 2014, we celebrated with turkey and dressing around a large table near Jasper, Alabama with Leah’s family. We talked to my family on the phone. For one day, everything seemed to be slower and life was centered around things that were important.
But that was 30 years ago, and this is 2044. Oh how times have changed.
Now we still get together with family on this day, but we all have to take a vacation day from work. It is no longer considered a true “holiday.” Some schools are out, but only because they haven’t had to use this late November Thursday as a makeup day for snow or some other bad weather.
Stores are open all day. It used to be that some people would spend part of Thanksgiving Day looking at sale ads for what was called “Black Friday.” That day-after-Thanksgiving Friday was a crazy day of shopping, meant to give a jumpstart to the Christmas shopping season through all kinds of sales. Now, the Thursday is just another shopping day, as people started looking for those trinkets and toys for Christmas a few weeks ago.
I miss the way Thanksgiving used to be. While I know some of it was manufactured, it was calming to think that people slowed down a bit, said a prayer, and spent time with their family. Whether every family really took time to say what they were thankful for, it was reassuring to think that some did. I know the ladies in our family had to cook a huge meal, but even they said that this day was slower than nearly any other. I miss that.
I miss the world seeming to just stop for a day and reflect. I miss the gratitude that was reinforced in a lot of traditions. I miss wiffleball in the front yard when it was warm in November, and reading by the fire when it wasn’t.
Somewhere in our mad rush to get more stuff we forgot how to take just one day to be thankful. I miss that.
But I won’t forget it. I remember Thanksgiving.