Macy’s puts final nail into Thanksgiving

So long, Thanksgiving. You were a special day for more than 400 years, but now it’s all over. Now Thanksgiving is mere prelude to the real celebration. We might as well rename it Black Thursday.

Macy’s, a source revealed to WWD last week, is reversing its traditional policy of staying closed on Thanksgiving after noticing with dismay that much of the crowd that gathered for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year concluded the day by going on a collective shopping spree at rival department store Lord & Taylor, which opened its doors at 10 a.m. as an experiment and drank Macy’s milkshake.


Thanksgiving has always been a uniquely great American holiday, secular or reverent as you wish, a day set aside for family and gratitude.

Because it has never been linked to exchanging gifts, it has remained free of commercialism. We treat it with the seriousness it deserves. As a people we travel great distances for Thanksgiving, often at the cost of the enormous stress wrought by congestion, because we know how important it is to show family members we love them.


Even if every other holiday has turned into an excuse for buying — given how Presidents’ Day has turned out, today’s schoolchildren can be forgiven for thinking it’s an occasion to honor the presidents of Target and Best Buy — Thanksgiving itself was supposed to be fenced off.

It’s reassuring to spend an entire day in the same house with family members we may know well but hardly ever see. We’re supposed to be in this moment together, rolling our eyes at Uncle Earl’s strangely inappropriate jokes and marveling at Grandpa’s foot odors.

No outside force should break that family spell.

I will freely admit that Thanksgiving was never one of my favorite holidays. Maybe that has something to do with spending most of my childhood T-days sitting in the back seat of a car for 3 hours each way to my step-grandparent’s house. At least these days I can drink beer and there is something to watch on television besides parades and boring football games. (For the first time ever the Oakland Raiders will be playing on T-day this year.)

Thanksgiving became a “tradition” back when divorce was rare and it was not uncommon for extended families to live together or in close proximity to each other. Nowadays divorce is common and so are far-flung relatives. My kids are spread over three states (none of them connecting) and I also have close relatives in San Diego, Oklahoma and Arizona. I don’t need a special holiday to spend time with my relatives here in town.

Times change. We can rail against it, or we can make our peace with it. Here’s the cold, hard truth – if nobody went shopping on T-day, none of the stores would be open. They are staying open to meet consumer demands.

So don’t blame Macy’s. Blame us. Or better yet, don’t blame anybody.

And be thankful every day.


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76 Responses to Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

  1. The Klown says:

    Culture, like language, is dynamic. It can’t be controlled. (What we all agree on doesn’t need to be controlled.)

  2. wmcb says:

    This is why I roll my eyes at people blaming Hollywood for movies being crap, fast food joints for people being fat, or Walmart or Bloomingdales for our terrible horrible materialistic culture.

    All those things reflect the existing culture. They don’t make it. They respond to what people want to buy/watch.

  3. I still miss the Turkey-days we celebrated at my crazy aunt’s in suburban Hilmar, CA. Valley fog and all.

  4. 1539days says:

    Big government would probably make a federal law closing stores on Thanksgiving if they weren’t fully in the pockets of big business.

    I hear stories from people all the time about the great deals they got on Black Friday by going to a store 3 hours early and fighting crowds for a low-end item the store sells as a loss leader. I have no interest in that. There are plenty of things on sale and online and I don’t have to get into a melee to do it.

    I just saw a story about a school that told the music director that he needed a 5:1 ratio of secular to religious Christmas songs (or no religious songs at all), so he disbanded the choir. That’s insane. Christmas is not a secular holiday.

    For the most part, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday and people can pretty much celebrate it in any fashion they choose. I just thought they were getting rid of the parade. Maybe they can sell ad space on Snoopy.

  5. elliesmom says:

    My grandfather died on Thanksgiving, and my grandmother turned the holiday into a national day of mourning for the rest of her life. It was a horrible day. My children live near me, and I can see my grandchildren any day I want. I have turned Thanksgiving into a family day of giving. I give my children the gift of sending them off to spend the long weekend with their in-laws, guilt-free. Elliesdad and I have a nice dinner, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends, we get tickets to see the Capitol Steps perform that weekend, and we rest up for Christmas. We don’t go anywhere shopping except the grocery store. (And maybe to get some wine) My kids’ in-laws are so happy to get my kids for Thanksgiving they don’t seem to notice I always get them for Christmas. 😉

  6. The Klown says:

    AHS Coven incorporates both the legends of Marie Laveau and Madame LaLaurie.

    • votermom says:

      Is the series good so far? Can I watch it without having watched seasons 1 & 2?

      • Propertius says:

        Each season is a completely independent and totally unrelated story arc. They have nothing in common except cast members.

      • angienc says:

        Yes, it is actually more like an Anthology, not a series.

        Like Propertius wrote — each one has completely different & unrelated story arcs, but uses many of the same actors.

        Which is actually great for the creator Ryan Murphy as he has proven he can nail a first season (Nip/Tuck & Glee) but falls apart after that (Nip/Tuck & Glee).

        I didn’t watch the first or second one myself. I tuned into AHS Coven because of the NOLA/Marie Laveau/Madame LaLaurie aspect.

    • angienc says:

      Growing up in NOLA we learned about the legends of both women & even had field trips in school to Marie Laveau’s grave site (St. Louis Cemetery No. 1) as well as the LaLaurie house on Royal street, so I think the show is pretty cool incorporating their legends.

      However, as gorgeous as & as good of an actress as Angela Bassett is, she isn’t good casting for Marie Laveau. Marie Laveau was Creole (free born & light-skinned — Marie Laveau herself was particularly light skinned). Someone with the skin tone of Jennifer Lopez would be more accurate.

      BTW — Madame LaLaurie was what we in Louisiana call “French (or white) Creole.” (French and/or Spanish like what you typically think of as Creole, but without black ancestors in the mix).

      • The Klown says:

        In the Spanish colonies, “Criollos” were white people born in the Americas. People actually born in Spain (Peninsulares) had higher status. People of mixed heritage were called Mestizos.

        • votermom says:

          The hierarchy was:
          peninsulares (spaniards born in Spain)
          insulares (spaniards born in the colony)
          mestizos (mixed blood)
          indios (natives)

        • The elephant in the room is this “status” practice also runs deeply through our southern neighbor. A huge percentage of it’s citizens illicitly crossing our borders are of the two lowest castes. They continue this practice here because they try to live in the shadows. So guess what ensues within their entrenched communities? Yep, gang warfare.
          Managed a state office with 30 mixed Hispanic ee’s and 8 others. All four levels were represented among staff. Some days I could cut the atmosphere in the building with a knife.

  7. mothy67 says:

    Lived and worked near Times Square for many years and never had any idea Macy’s was closed that day. See nothing wrong with their being open. It is a tourist mecca after all.

  8. votermom says:

    OT – any opinions on cell phone carriers?
    Trying to compare family plans is giving me a headache. Our ATT contract is up, so now’s our chance to switch, and we’re figuring out how much it would be if we went with a 3 or 4 smart phone plan (for the kids)

    • DandyTIger says:

      They all suck. But I switched to Verizon because they were better here than ATT. And they all give everything away to the gov. / NSA. The only other thing I considered was Sprint and T-Mobile for their non contract plans. Might be something to look at.

    • We do Verizon for the superior coverage in our area, but they use different technology than most. If their coverage is good for your area consider a pay as you go plan to save money. I use Kitty Wireless for one phone and love it. Same network, much cheaper.

  9. helenk3 says:

    white house gift shop goes bankrupt. guess if you do not allow tours there will be no sales.
    it was run by a non profit organization that helped secret service uniformed employees and there families. no federal funds involved

  10. helenk3 says:

    since I worked on most holidays we held the dinner on the weekend before. i could get a vacation day and not lose my holiday pay. this always worked out well for my family. We had the get together which is the most important thing, not the date. They were free on the date of the holiday to visit in-laws or stay home and veg and miss the traffic.

  11. helenk3 says:

    now the TSA can arrest you if you joke or make a remark about airport security.

    has anyone else noticed that the TSA and the NPS all wear brown shirts

  12. The Klown says:

    The Dodgers are 1 out away from a 2 game hole.

  13. Sandress says:

    My dissertation is KILLING me. My lit review is 76 pages long and I’m still eight days from done. UGH. My head hurts. Anyone want to recommend something motivating? Bonus points if its a movie montage clip.

  14. helenk3 says:

    Judge Jeanne is on fire tonight. She is taking no prisoners. When the video becomes available it is a must see

  15. votermom says:

    OT – I’m trying out this cold/sinus home remedy from an aoshq comment: wash your feet, dry em, rub the soles with vicks vaporub and put on socks.
    It feels tingly. 😀

    • helenk3 says:

      another way is to put vicks on your forehead, under your nostrils and along the sinus passage under your eyes. and for some reason at the base of your scull

      • votermom says:

        I did it at the base of my skull too (I get sinus pain there).
        I didn’t have vicks earlier so I put chinese white flower oil (Pak Fah Yeow) on my temples and on my cheekbone (sinus pain) – made my eyes water but it helped.

        • indigogrrl1 says:

          I can’t live without my vicks vapor rub…. though I work with my hands (artist) and I use it to stop my fingers from splitting. Its miracle stuff….. it also keeps feet silky smooth with no cracked heels.

  16. helenk3 says:

    park services refuses to let 2 buses of veterans from Texas thru to Iwo Jima memorial

  17. helenk3 says:

    declaration of dependence

    a liberal wants all government money cut to district where they elected politicians backed by the tea party.

    good article

  18. helenk3 says:

    park service paramilitaries or backtrack’s brown shirt brigade

  19. leslie says:

    Going to bed. The Marathon is tomorrow and I’m going to be on the 6:30 “el” tomorrow morning to get down there so
    I can help on my daughter’s support team. Fingers crossed……….

  20. swanspirit says:

    On October 8, Goldberg explained, CBS’ Mark Knoller asked Obama if he was “tempted” to sign the numerous funding bills passed by the GOP-led House intended to alleviate the pain of the shutdown.

    Republicans have passed bills that would reopen parks, fund cancer trials for children at the NIH, and to keep FEMA and the FDA going through this partial shutdown, Goldberg added, but the White House — now being called the #SpiteHouse on Twitter — has threatened to veto those bills.

    “Of course I’m tempted” to sign those bills, Obama told Knoller. “But here’s the problem. What you’ve seen are bills that come up wherever Republicans are feeling political pressure, they put a bill forward. And if there’s no political heat, if there’s no television story on it, then nothing happens.”

    “Obama’s answer dragged on, as all of Obama’s answers do,” Goldberg wrote. “But the point was made. For the first time in American history, a president confessed to deliberately hurting his country to score points against his enemies.”

    The #SpiteHouse How PERFECT !!

  21. Gojoyknocks says:

    I just attended a moving ceremony in Agamont park in Bar Harbor, Maine. Two years ago Wreaths Across America lit a perpetual Christmas tree in honor of ” the Christmas they never had”. After all of ten complaints, the town selectmen asked them to remove the lights because it was religious and “tacky”. Today they did. A WWII pow told of being transported by boxcar on Dec 24th, 1944, mistakenly strafed by RAF. Some killed, some wounded, weeping they sang Silent Night. He was nineteen at the time. Bikers in black leathers, flags on their bikes, wept today as we sang.
    Here’s where I would insert a link to Wreaths Across America if I knew how to operate this iPad .

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