Happy Thanksgiving!

Strangers At The Thanksgiving Table

With the headlines that greet us each day as we wake up, to the analysis of the day’s events as we end a day comes a need to know there are brighter spots in the nation.  Not everyone in this land is like Donald Trump.  Many, in fact, desire to share international experiences with people who are here in the nation for a variety of reasons.  We welcome them as neighbors, friends, and citizens.  As soon as I read this article in Bon Appetit I knew it had to be posted on CP.

Many a night over the years at our home in Madison James has invited people from the college who had grown up in places as far away as Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, or Russia to have a meal and share in conversations.  To talk about culture and history and ideas over a long evening with someone with differing perspectives remains among some of the most memorable times at our dinner table.

There is the story we tell about Thanksgiving, and then there is the meaning of it. At those dinners, as my mother sliced the pumpkin pie and passed around dishes of homemade almond jelly with fruit—another family tradition—she must have looked at those young students and seen herself and my father 20 years earlier, when they’d been new too. When my parents had arrived in Indiana for graduate school, they were newlyweds in a new state in a new country on a new continent, and neither of them had ever tasted cranberry sauce or turkey before. But they soon made American friends, who invited them to their Thanksgiving table. Who made them feel welcome, who introduced them to Thanksgiving dinner, who encouraged them to think of this country—and these traditions—as their own.

Perhaps my parents invited those foreign students as a way of continuing that cycle, of paying forward what had once been done for them. And despite the oversimplified myth of Thanksgiving, I told them, I like to think all those strangers who dined with us over the years understood something true about Thanksgiving nonetheless. That at heart this holiday is about welcoming others—especially those from far away—and making them feel at home. That there is room to acknowledge both the traditions of the place you’re in and the place you come from. That Thanksgiving dinner is a reminder to everyone— including yourself—that there is space, and goodwill, for everyone.

Say No To Shopping At Any Business On Thanksgiving

Each year Caffeinated Politics makes no bones about the importance of Thanksgiving to our nation.  Equally expressed is the low regard given to those who place profit above family, friends, and national values by finding excuses for opening their doors to make some money.

Thanksgiving has meaning and purpose in America, but businesses would have us think that the foundation of the Holiday does not matter. That only the need for greed and cash matters as stores and places of business gear up for sales.

But there is good news to report, and it is a trend that has been growing over the past years.  A large segment of the nation is not only rejecting the notion of shopping on this Holiday, opting instead to be with family and friends at homes coast to coast, but also voicing their opposition to the attempted destruction of Thanksgiving.

In recent years, the Black Friday craze has inched further and further into Thanksgiving. With stores opening as early as 5 P.M. on Thanksgiving Thursday, it means that festive dinners are being overshadowed by shopping frenzies. But there are still some stores that allow workers to stay home and enjoy the holiday.  I offer that listing below.

These are the stores that will be closed on Thanksgiving Day 2019:

Ace Hardware
Barnes & Noble
Burlington Coat Factory
Guitar Center
Hobby Lobby
Office Depot
Sam’s Club
Stein Mart
T.J. Maxx
True Value

Happy Thanksgiving From Caffeinated Politics

Once again one of my favorite holidays rolls around on the calendar.

For me there is the historical aspect of the day which is always one for conversations.  Granted, there is much myth-making about the origins of this day.  Pilgrims, of course, weren’t the first settlers in the United States.  Native Americans had celebrated fall harvest feasts for a very long time and they had established sophisticated societies.  And what happened due to European development in the Americas is not in dispute.

When the French and Spanish explored the Mississippi and its tributaries prior to the New England arrivals, countless indigenous villages were seen along the river bluffs. When Lewis and Clark explored that region more than 200 years later, none of those indigenous settlements could be found.  Clearly a de-populating of the land was taking place due to disease and wars.

Aside from the history of the day comes an appreciation for the deeper meaning of our lives.  Hopefully people around the nation will tap into–at least for a few minutes–this theme of the Holiday.

People need to take stock of all the things they own, and in so doing, discover what truly makes them rich has nothing to do with money, land, investments, or how many steps up the ladder of a career they have traveled.  What constitutes being truly rich has nothing to do with bank accounts.

Sound health, a mind still curious to learn, the hand of a loved one to hold on walks, smiling while watching a kid take off on a bike for the first time, and being at peace with oneself are ways to compute the real things of worth.  Those are some of the things which I am thankful for year after year.

It is just my way of observing Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Scores Madison Victory As East And West Towne Malls Closed For National Holiday

In the midst of not always such good news to report comes something that many of us can find pleasure in.

As long-time readers know I have a real issue with those who try to steal Thanksgiving from the American public and turn it into just a huge shopping day.  If you listen to the lingo it can be summed up with the store owners claiming ‘We’re doing it simply to make our customers happy.’

This line has been spun so often that it can almost be recited from memory.  Everyone else is doing it so that means the rest of the merchants feel forced to open earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving because that’s what the competition is doing.  There are those who want retailers to think that by not opening on Thanksgiving a store is essentially conceding some chunk of sales to the competition. The battle for holiday sales and when stores should open is even more muddled by the fact that consumers can shop to their heart’s content no matter what the day, 24/7/365, because e-retail never closes.

Over the recent past many have talked about the fact Thanksgiving store hours don’t actually boost a retailer’s overall holiday sales. Rather, sales on the holiday simply displace sales that would otherwise have been rung up on Black Friday or later in the season.

With all that stated by this passionate blogger on the matter let me now report the good news.

CBL & Associates Properties, owner of West Towne and East Towne malls in Madison and the Janesville Mall, announced that the malls will be closed on Thanksgiving and won’t open for Black Friday shopping until 6 a.m. Nov. 25.  

Last week, Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping center, announced that it would be closed on Thanksgiving after being open on the day since 2012. Hilldale Shopping Center has not been open on Thanksgiving in the past and will remain closed this year, according to its website.

Wisconsin State Journal Weighs Over Four Pounds Thanksgiving Morning

Four pounds and 2 ounces to be precise.

The bulk of the paper are the ads, of course, that are intended to make us think we have something more important to do than celebrate Thanksgiving.  After bringing the paper in from the stoop and weighing it I know my words from a week ago very much apply to how I feel today.

…it is my desire that Americans spend their holiday with family and friends instead of shopping and amassing things. Let us stop trading in home time for mall time and again build up the tradition of why Thanksgiving was established in the first place.

My Hope For Thanksgiving

My Mom always told me while growing up in our rural home in Hancock that too many people tried to buy their way to happiness.   The more one had, many thought, the happier they were.   But as she pointed out time and again those who had more than most were often the unhappiest folks in the area.

So it is that once again in the great chase for material things many people will decide to trek into the stores on Thanksgiving Day to trample over other people, fight to get into check-out lines ahead of others, and sneer at drivers who have gotten the treasured parking space.

If they were not hunting for a parking space it might have been because they were actually camping out with tents and chairs and sleeping bags for ‘the big deal’. Is that not that a sad statement about what has happened in the country? What a grand way to spend a holiday that is aimed at giving thanks!

Maybe it was due to how I was raised and also from the experiences of my adulthood that I sincerely hope my fellow Americans will do two things this season.

First I hope that we applaud not only in spirit but then also with our verbal thanks to those retailers and merchants who remain closed on Thanksgiving. There will be time for Christmas shopping after we give a day of thanks. Let us then shop at those places who observe our national holiday.

Second it is my desire that Americans spend their holiday with family and friends instead of shopping and amassing things. Let us stop trading in home time for mall time and again build up the tradition of why Thanksgiving was established in the first place.

List Of 27 Retailers That Will Be Closed On Thanksgiving Day 2015

Below is a list of 27 retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving.  This comes from the newspaper The Oregonian.

Simply put I have great respect for these stores as I sincerely believe that Thanksgiving should be a day that celebrates the reason this holiday was established.  I think this is a time for family and friends to gather and share time.  Therefore the following retailers need our support on the day  after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday and beyond.  If you care about this matter please join my Facebook page and lets spread the word about retaking this holiday from the corporate world and return it to the dinner table where we will gather.

    1. Barnes & Noble
    2. Bi-Mart
    3. Burlington Coat Factory
    4. Cabela’s
    5. Costco
    6. Crate & Barrel
    7. DSW
    8. GameStop
    9. Harbor Freight
    10. HomeGoods
    11. Home Depot
    12. IKEA
    13. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft
    14. Lowe’s
    15. Marshalls
    16. Nordstrom
    17. Nordstrom Rack
    18. Orchard Supply Hardware
    19. Patagonia
    20. Petco
    21. PetSmart
    22. Pier 1 Imports
    23. REI
    24. Staples
    25. Sur La Table
    26. T.J. Maxx
    27. The Container Store