Turkey, family, more turkey

Make the most out of Thanksgiving, please

by Mike Parks

Let me start out by saying, if there are any family activities you could be doing right now instead of reading this, put the paper down and go make the most out of the holiday. I can wait.

Because that’s what this column is really all about. I don’t write many opinion pieces, so when I do steal the space to jot down my thoughts, you know that it’s pretty important to me.

The other day, while driving to work, I saw people putting up a tent to start selling Christmas trees. It was Nov. 19, and I was on the way to a Thanksgiving pot luck. I was immediately reminded of something a friend said: “People are trying to erase Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas.”

While I love Christmas, I’m not willing to sacrifice Thanksgiving for it. And I hope you’ll rally around Thanksgiving with me by making the most of this four-day weekend.

Arguing about politics and religion and boyfriends and the like over Thanksgiving dinner/lunch is stupid, but it’s the first thing many of us imagine when thinking of Thanksgiving. Instead, let’s all make an effort to talk about things that make us happy. Here’s a couple suggestions: the merits of cranberry sauce; dark meat vs. white meat; how old do you have to be before graduating from the kids table to the adult table. It’s really not that hard, people.

Spend some time just having fun with the family. In my family, we always watch football, then go out in the yard and throw a football. It’s pretty simple. Just throw and catch and conversation. It doesn’t have to be some giant, family-reunion spectacle with balloons and a karaoke machine. In fact, other than the cost of food, Thanksgiving shouldn’t cost a dime.

While we’re on the topic of money, let me attack my least favorite day of the year. Black Friday, otherwise known as Thanksgiving Killer Day, is a horrible, horrible thing. How about instead of spending the whole day shopping, you stay home and… I don’t know, play with your kids? Or go visit a friend or call up your grandparents. Or just do something.

Sleep in a little, then spend the rest of the day with the family instead of standing in line at Walmart. Then, do the same thing Saturday and Sunday.

In a life where we spend most of our time running back and forth from work to meetings then back to work and finally home to go straight to bed, let’s use every chance we can to be a family. Your kids will remember the time you spent with them more than they do the present you bought half-off on Thanksgiving Killer Day.

I’ve gotten a lot of Christmas presents over the years, but it’s not the present that I remember. It’s playing with that present with my brothers and parents.

So, I guess what I’m saying is: Focus on what’s important this holiday weekend. I know what I’m focusing on. By the time this paper hits your driveway or mailbox or local news stand, I’ll already be at my parents’ house, as will my two brothers, and we’ll be working hard to forget about work and all that stuff you worry about the rest of the year. I’ll deal with all that come Monday.

I advise you to do the same.

Let us know!
Send us an e-mail and let us know how you spent Thanksgiving. E-mail me at editor@thecharlotteweekly.com

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