Saturday, November 24, 2012

What happened to the wishbone?

Making a wish!
So Thanksgiving is over. I can tell you a few things about my holiday. I ate too much. Had plenty of wine. And heard the words “Black Friday” more times than anyone should in a given weekend. No, scratch that. . . In a lifetime. I actually said to the girls this morning, “Please, dear children of mine, do not let me hear the words ‘Black Friday’ from your mouths today. Do not tell me what  ‘I could get for what price.’ Do not ask me to fight the crowds, because it’s THE day to shop. Or tell me that your life is over because everyone else you know is going.”
They think I am a drag. And the holidays have just begun. . .
I’ll tell you what I think of the holiday season. I think unless you are under age 13, they aren’t quite the same as we once thought or remembered. Or maybe it’s just me.
I don’t dislike the holiday season. I love it. When I close my eyes. . . and think about what is supposed to be, or what I thought it was, or what it is supposed to mean. When I think of it like that? I totally dig the holiday season. And then I open my eyes.
Here is what I see. And what I feel. I see a Thanksgiving that has become so overshadowed with Black Friday that my children cannot, despite my efforts, clearly understand that this was once a day that was meant purely to be spent sharing a wonderful meal with family and friends. Not to mention the historical value. And why can’t they see this?
We all know the answer.
It’s become a bit of a misguided holiday in many ways, I truly believe. I am not that old, but the face of
Thanksgiving has changed so much since I was a child, I barely recognize it.
It used to be “turkey day.” Simple as that. It was a day that we either spent at home or travelled to spend the day with family and friends that were special to us.
We got excited about sitting at the “kids table” with our cousins.  Or we had finally made the transition to sitting at the “big table.” Which we quickly realized wasn’t nearly as cool as we thought it would be. Adult conversation is pretty dang boring when you’re just bordering on 13 and you can hear the raucous laughter from the card table just a few fun feet behind you in “ kiddy” land.
We wandered through the kitchen before dinner, eyeing the multitude of pies -- pumpkin, apple, pecan, mincemeat (which I never liked). We placed a single black olive on every finger and held them outstretched proudly to anyone who would look at us – before systematically eating them off each digit. There was the carving of the turkey. And waiting to holler, “I want dark meat!” (or maybe that was only me). Or, “I hate giblets!”
The anticipation of the wish bone was palpable after dinner. Who would get to hold each treasured end? Who would get THE wish of season? This was a big deal!
The” big deal” was side-lined until the clearing of the table. Never a good moment. Especially if you were apart of the kids old enough to participate in this heinous job. But you still giggled. Because it was somehow still a bit fun. That and you realized that your parents wouldn’t serve you the aforementioned pie, until your job was complete.
You get my point. It was different back then.
The TV was on, but a parade or a football game took center stage, not a Target or a Wal-Mart commercial. Not these commercials that are meant solely to taunt our children in to believing that if you don’t stand in line with all of the other shoppers (crazies), they will NEVER, EVER, EVER get that Xbox for Christmas. Because if we wait even ONE day beyond Black Friday, the prices will shoot back up to the prices that make their Christmas wishes “dust in the wind.”  Sorry, I always did enjoy that Kansas song, way back when. And I was about that same age as Stella when I loved it. Long before she wanted an Xbox, but back when I wanted a Stretch Armstrong really bad. I digress.
Here’s the thing. I will reiterate. I do not dislike the holidays. I strongly dislike that my children are being programmed to believe that the entire season is centered around “want” and “buy me” and “the best deal.”
I want them to have the same feelings about Thanksgiving that I did. And I am aware that it’s my job as their Mother to teach them values. The values I want them to have. But it’s a bit of an uphill battle --as times have changed. I need to teach them better.
It’s all about the wishbone.