Friday, November 29, 2013


Thanksgiving has forever changed. It amazes me to think back what it was like when I was a kid. Obviously the weather was a lot different in Chicago than it is in Southern California. It went along with the special platter with the winter scene my mother always served the turkey on.

While she was home cooking and fretting that the dinner wasn’t going to turn out (she always said that and dinner always turned out great), I would be at Rockerfeller Chapel. Every year they put on an interfaith service and all the children’s choirs in the neighborhood took part. I was in the Unitarian children’s choir. We were sort of the star choir as we performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra a number of times. Rockerfeller Chapel is part of the University of Chicago and it is a huge gothic style building and is very imposing both inside and out.

I loved being part of the ceremony as we marched in dressed in our red robes and then all the music that followed. And then it was home to the delicious cooking smells.

When we finally ate, it was a long affair with everyone sitting around the table for a very long time. And then when everyone went home, it was put away the leftover, clean up and go to bed.

There was nothing open. Nothing. Nobody thought about going anywhere.

Not anymore.

We did our usual thing of going to a restaurant in Malibu that is right on the beach. Dinner was wonderful and even with the clouds, we were able to watch the sunset. Afterwards we went to a movie. It’s been our Thanksgiving tradition. But this year there was something very different. Usually there is a crowd and getting into a movie is a challenge, but this year, there was nobody there. We walked right into the movie and the tiny theater was maybe a third full.

We understood why on the way home. The parking lot for the mall was full. The Target parking lot was busy. This is the first year that so many stores have opened so early and obviously it is a big hit. I’m sure there is no turning back.

Not that I’m complaining. My son just called from Target (it’s 12:30 a.m.)and told me he got a great deal on the Ipad I wanted. He's bringing it over so I can start playing with it.

I wonder what is next. Will stores start opening on Christmas afternoon and begin the day after Christmas sales before the day is even over?


Linda O. Johnston said...

It really is surprising how things have changed, Betty. I hope that both the stores and their customers benefit enough from all the hype and extra shopping time for everyone to get some good out of it. Otherwise, why do it?

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I don't think there is any going back. All the shopping is really a hunt and full of excitement for the hunters.

As for the employees, I think they like the extra pay. When I was a telephone operator and worked on holidays, I know I certainly liked it. Plus it was fun working onthe holidays.

Planner said...

Perhaps the physical retail stores are feeling pressure to be open on holidays to compete with online stores that are available 24/7?

Personally, I don't think this is a good trend. We have become a nation of consumers. It's nice to take time off from shopping to enjoy all these things we buy, not to mention time with friends and loved ones.

Times certainly have changed.