Saturday, November 24, 2012

the day after Thanksgiving

One of the weirder American holidays is the day after Thanksgiving, also known as "Black Friday". It is a day when  all school children get off but many adults have to work. I remember when I worked in Denver on that day. It was the day we got to see all the husbands of the key punch operators in the office. Mom would have to work, Daddy would be off, the kids would be off and the pay checks were given out at noon. One by on at twelve o'clock the husbands would all troop in with the kids to pick up the checks. It was fun matching up the families to the staffers. 

I wrote a newsletter column back then for the house organ of the company. I wrote how great it was to see every body's family on the day after Thanksgiving. That article must have caught the attention of somebody because the next year the company made that day a vacation day. I always felt is was my column that was responsible. 

Probably for me my happiest memory of this day is being home from college and seeing all my college buddies on that day. I remember taking the bus to New York with old friends on that day. I think we ate Chinese food. 

Nowadays the day after Thanksgiving has become the major shopping day of the year, "Black Friday". I guess getting up at three a.m to go to the stores is a ritual by itself. This year, however, the stores are opening on Thanksgiving night. More convenient but probably not as exciting. 

Thanksgiving being a Thursday can be traced to Washington. I often wonder why it isn't a Friday. Wouldn't it make more sense than creating an orphan day and a day care nightmare for millions of working parents? I guess in the good olde days Mother was home on that day, catching up on the canning.

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