Black Friday… the thanks for giving follow-up

Letter from 2012-11-23

Yesterday was a great day. I made an ambrosia salad, a sausage dressing and I fried a turkey. But what made the made the day great was that I spent it with my family. My wife and mom in the kitchen sampling and resampling all of the various dishes; the children outside playing, my dad doing his “dad things” and me… I’m just soaking it all in.

A few years ago, I couldn’t say that I truly enjoyed the day all because I was mad that everyone didn’t participate like I thought they should. Thanksgiving was the one day of the year that we should all put our best “food-foot” forward. “Why are we eating brown-n-serve rolls?”, “These are canned green beans. Why didn’t you get fresh ones?”, “Why is the housing stinking? Did you make chit’lins?”… I was in the house but not enjoying the family.

This year we did something different. My dad turned off the TV. All too often the TV has become the babysitter… not only for the children but for the adults as well. If it’s not the TV, it’s our cell phone or getting on the internet. We have become a nation of distracted people. But, this year no TV and guess what we did… we talked to each other, we reminisced of times past, played back the stories of each others lives from different perspectives. It was great!!!

Recently, I was talking to a guy about his relationship with his young children. One of his concerns was about the expense of hanging out and entertaining his children. My response was this… If you’re concerned about money then do things that you spend once. Get a membership to the Zoo, COSI, or the museum. Once, you buy the membership, every time you go it’s free. Go to the library or a park. Or how about this, don’t go anywhere or do anything. Play UNO or Monopoly with them. Or just sit and talk…

The close of Thanksgiving dinner last night ended at a bowling alley. I decided not to go based on this… No matter how tired I was as long as we were in the “family setting”, it didn’t matter. Once the setting changes it reverts back to the ‘norm’, a bunch of people in the same place all separated.

In closing, as we return to work, make those mad dashes for those sales, as we get back to what we do… Don’t forget to enjoy your family. You only have one family and when they’re gone, there’s no replacement.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

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