Officially todays is National Buy Nothing Day. It’s a great antidote to the consumer frenzy that used to be reserved for the day after Thanksgiving. But the day to try and quench our endless thirst for all the things we want, seems to be encroaching on the day we sit around with our family being thankful for what we’ve got.
Buy Nothing Day is great in theory, but it’s terrible in practice. Mostly because this is the day that I go hunting and gathering for treats to bring to my family’s belated Thanksgiving celebration in Connecticut. We’ll see how many stops I can make before I need to get home for Friday night dinner. But The Cheese Traveler is a must, and I’m hoping that Rolf’s and Chester’s might be open too. My goal is to fill a sack of meats and cheeses that the family will snack on before the meal.
But presents? We’re not so big into presents. Perhaps that’s a cultural thing. You know the old joke about getting socks on Chanukah? It’s funny because it’s true. Speaking of which, the first night of Chanukah is crazy close, it begins a week from Sunday.
However, first thing is first.
Today is a day for giving thanks. As screwed up as the world may be, there are always things for which to be thankful. Some years we may have to dig deeper to find them, but they exist.
One thing I’m perpetually thankful for is this holiday tradition of mine. Really, I’m big into traditions in general. But every Thanksgiving, I make sure to watch one particular video on YouTube. And every Thanksgiving, I write a post encouraging others to watch it too. Some people might be watching it for the very first time. Others might have made it a holiday tradition of their own sometime over the past fifty years, because it all started about fifty Thanksgivings ago.
Regardless of how screwed up the world may be, I am thankful for the optimism that exists at the heart of this song. So hopefully you can get away from your family for eighteen minutes, or maybe you can have them gather around the computer to watch with you.
Who knows, you may find yourself starting a new Thanksgiving tradition. Mine is torturing Young Master Fussy with these words of an aging hippy. Perhaps when he’s older, he’ll understand.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy the song and have a wonderful holiday.
How many Thanksgiving meals will you be attending this year?
Something weird is happening to our holidays. Much like Halloween, which can sometime extend to well over a week and include both the weekend before and after the holiday, Thanksgiving has slowly expanded to be a much bigger holiday.
On the flip side, it would also seem that Thanksgiving is also at risk of being entirely eaten up by Christmas now that Black Friday officially starts on Thursday. But perhaps that’s one of the factors that is pushing more and more people to celebrate our national gut busting bacchanalia on additional days of the week.
So maybe it’s also a good question to ask when do you officially celebrate the holiday?
Egads! The week feels like it’s over before it has even begun. Somehow I cleverly scheduled two different overnight trips, in two different states, on either side of Thanksgiving. Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be in Rhode Island. Thursday and Friday I’m back in Albany. Saturday and Sunday I’ll be in Connecticut.
It all sounded like a good idea at the time. The blog will continue. Yelp will Yelp on. Everything will be fine. And I’m actually excited about all the plans. The logistics are just unfortunate.
My biggest concern is whether or not I’ll be able to bang out a batch of chicken stock in time to make some kind of quick and sleazy stuffing for Thursday night. That’s our small immediate-family dinner. Our bigger feast isn’t until Saturday. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that. My aunt N. has it all covered.
The only thing I’m worried about right now is revealing how wrong I’ve been about some deeply held prejudices. But when I’m wrong, I come clean. So here goes nothing.
There are some institutions that are just part of the fabric of everyday life in a city. They will vary place to place. But they are businesses that have been in town for a very long time. So long, it’s almost as if people take them for granted.
Albany is not alone in losing some of its cherished local icons. Just look at the state of Jewish Delis in Manhattan. It’s tragic.
Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but just this week Albany has suffered two major losses.