It’s Thanksgiving week, which means many people across these fruited plains are taking a moment to appreciate what they have around them, families are braving the crowds to get to one another for the holiday and the smart turkeys are all hiding out until the mad rush passes.
And, of course, there’s shopping.
Somehow, someway, Black Friday has become a monumental even unto itself. Oh, it’s been around for quite some time now, but it really appears as if it has become as significant to many people as Thanksgiving itself, and the competitive prices and annual scuffles amongst shoppers prove that it has become as intense to some people as those participating in the NFL’s Super Bowl.
The day itself has impacted how many people spend their Thanksgivings, and we won’t even discuss how many stores are starting their sales on the very night of America’s family day. With sales beginning at many stores before dawn on Friday, significant amounts of families shut down before dark on Thanksgiving to get some sleep in preparation for the big day.
Like it, love it or hate it, Black Friday is here to stay, and it’s probably become the most significant days of the year for our nation’s retail economy.
With all that being said, and without trying to put any kind of damper on the shopping festivities, there is an alternative to elbowing strangers and suffering sleep deprivation in order to get some holiday shopping done.
We have plenty of interesting stores, shops and restaurants that provide unique gift ideas for the holidays. Buying from our local proprietors offers opportunities to buy gifts that can’t be found everywhere else, affords you the opportunity to shop in peace and helps our entire economy. Think local this year.
We had a tradition around the McCann family table every Thanksgiving.
No, not the one that includes one family member accusing another of being judgemental and somebody else jumping on the bandwagon, while others piled on that first individual for being hypersensitive, and one statement gets elevated by the next until tears are shed and there’s a random turkey leg spinning around on the ceiling fan above the table while my father would quietly fill his glass with a little bit more wine, thinking nobody was paying attention to him.
No, I’m talking about a different one.
Once the turkey leg was salvaged from its spinning perch and my father rescued from his equally-spinning chair, we would each take turns stating what it was we were thankful for that particular year. The idea behind the tradition was originally to take stock about how fortunate each of us were in our individual lives, but it actually turned into a competition over who could make my grandmother cry the most.
This, by the way, was not a difficult task, as my grandmother would cry at the slightest reference made to somebody being thankful for her, the work she put into the turkey, or the relative success of the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, my grandmother is no longer with us, but her tradition continues to this day, even as our family is now scattered across the nation.
So, without further adieu, I present my own list of what I am thankful for, and I stress beforehand that there is no man on this planet who is full of more good fortune than myself:
• I am thankful for my wife and beautiful baby girl. There really is nothing else to add to this, except that my world is infinitely better because of them.
• I am thankful to be working. That alone is something to be grateful for, and the fact that I get to come to work every day to contribute to a newspaper I love with every ounce of my being is something I do not take for granted.
• I am thankful that elastic has been added to more waistlines in men’s clothing. Rise against the machine, I like to say. Sometimes that machine is a piece of exercise equipment I have developed a personal distate for because there isn’t a convenient place to hold my Twinkies while I pretend to exercise.
• I am thankful for the family I was born into, from birth to now. Through thick and thin, I have always known exactly where to turn, and that is not a luxury everybody has in this world.
• I am thankful that my little sister is such an exceptional mother. I say this because she has two beautiful sons who make me laugh every time I get to spend time with them, and you really can’t put a price on good laughs.
• I’m thankful that Tootsie Rolls are still a thing. Chewy, delicious and easy to unwrap. Why don’t we have a theme park based on these little slices of ecstacy?
• I’m thankful that I have spent more than 15 years working with the likes of Jane Meleady and Susan Lyons in various locations. If you know them, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you don’t, these are the kind of people you want in your life.
• I’m thankful that Hanes has gotten rid of the tags on their undershirts. Nothing can ruin a day more consistently than that little itch you get at the bottom of your neck from a tag that has been apparently constructed of a rare alloy consisting of cotton, titanium and rusty razor blades. Oh, sure, you could rip them off, but you are just as likely to tear a hole in your shirt or leave that little tag fragment that makes it feel as if someone is slowly twisting a...
But I digress.
• I’m thankful for the Pointies. Yes, I mentioned before how grateful I am to be working at the Coastal Point, but I need to also mention the great people I get to work with every day. Make no mistake about it: We are a for-profit business and we want to maximize our earnings as much as anybody else does. However, it makes one’s heart feel good to hear more conversations around the office about trying to help somebody or that person’s business than anything else. These people love our community, our schools and our businesses and want desperately to see them all succeed.
• I’m thankful for my friends. If you truly are judged by the company you keep, I’m happy to ride their coattails. From my friends in this area to those I grew up with to those I served with a million years ago or worked with at different newspapers in various cities, I’ve somehow surrounded myself with people I trust completely.
• I’m thankful for our readers, advertisers and supporters. Without you, there would be no reason for us to get to do what we love. Happy Thanksgiving!
Letters to the Editor
Steen family grateful for community support
We would like to express our gratitude for the monumental outpouring of support on behalf of our family and Steen’s Beach Service.
On Friday, Nov. 14, the mayor and town council voted unanimously to extend our contract with the Town of Bethany Beach for two more years and stated that the Town is not going into the umbrella business. We are looking forward to future negotiations with the Town for our beach stand concession and to finding alternative solutions to financing an emergency storm fund. Thank you!
The local and regional media coverage of our situation was thoughtful and well-presented. Thank you!
Social media works! To the 3,353 people who signed the change.org petition, to the hundreds of people who posted Facebook messages and emailed the Town on our behalf and to the dozens of people who wrote the Town, called council members and attended the town meetings in support and protest, thank you!
We, as a family and as a small local business, are so proud to be a part of such a wonderful community. To our family, neighbors, SBS kids everywhere, customers and friends — new and old — thank you!
We are grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!
Ron, Tempe and Paige Steen