I’m going to start this story with the ending, because that’s what makes it interesting. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet @Leisal:
To be clear, I have no idea who she is or why she decided to follow me in the first place. My twitter bio is pretty clear about who I am and who I work for. Also, this tweet was in response to a non-abortion related tweet in which I was geeking out about being RT’d by someone much, much cooler and smarter than me at The Facing Race conference this weekend.
Anyway, before she decided that I am too silly and pro-abortion to follow, @Leisal had responded to another tweet where I asked NPR (I think) to include stories from/about the workers who are asked to give up their Thanksgiving with their families so that Walmart et al can push up their Black Friday sales. The story was actually lauding Neiman Marcus for deciding not to decorate or advertise Christmas till after Thanksgiving. It’s weird, right? It seems like every year the decorations go up a little sooner (the Safeway on New York Ave was putting out Christmas stuff on Halloween) and the “door busters” start a little earlier. And I get that in the middle of a years-long recession, getting to a sale early can be the difference between giving your kids, grandkids, friends and loved ones the holidays you want for them and not being able to do that.
But it’s so easy, in the midst of all of this to forget that starting a sale on Thanksgiving Day means more people who have to say good-bye to their own loved ones even earlier to work the sales floors and cash registers so that we can celebrate the most wonderful time of the year…for the Walton family.
Obviously, all of this is more than 140 characters, but I was still really surprised when @Leisal responded to the tweet with “why?”
I don’t know, I guess I thought we were all on the same page about resenting the rampant commercialization of the holidays? And I’m not saying that we ought to cancel Christmas or Black Friday or only give each other handmade gifts this year.
But maybe if we included both sides of the Black Friday news stories, we could remember to be just a little bit nicer and more respectful to the workers who are giving up their holiday for yours. Or in Walmart’s case this year, giving up their holiday to fight for fair working conditions for themselves and their coworkers.
Thanks for listening. If you are looking to do homemade gifts this year, the best one I received in 2011 was a hot toddy kit from my boss: loose tea, a tea strainer, a container of honey and two tiny bottles of Jack Daniels. Hot toddies are amazing for fighting of colds and sore throats in the winter. My tried-and-true cold remedy is:
1 cup of lemon ginger tea
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp whiskey
It’s warm and soothing and kills your germs and helps you sleep. Quite possibly the world’s most perfect drink.