Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Plans Make Some People Blue

Dear Tazi:

Every year my family loves to have a big, traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings. Sadly, money is very tight for me this year because I lost my job and had to take a position making less than I was; because of this, I am planning on shopping the night away at all of the Black Friday sales that Thanksgiving evening. In order to do this, I will have to sleep Thanksgiving Day. I realize that this is less than ideal, but it is truly the only way I will be able to give my two children (both teenagers) the kind of Christmas they deserve – one with lots of presents under the tree! I want this Christmas to be extra special for them because their father (my ex-husband) got remarried this year to a woman half his age and the kids are pretty upset about it.

When I told my mother about my shopping plans, she hit the roof! She told me that Thanksgiving is about family, not shopping, and that Christmas is about love, not presents. She accused me of trying to buy my children’s love with fancy gifts and told me that she had better see me at her table on Thanksgiving or I can forget coming around for Christmas.

Tazi, I think my mother is being unreasonable. I will still be sending the children to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family, so they will not be missing out; my kids will be spending Christmas Day with their father, so I will be all alone if my mother banishes me from her table for trying to do right by my kids and giving them the best Christmas ever in a year full of downers. I told my Mom that she was not seeing the big picture, and she responded that “there are none so blind as those who will not see”. I don’t think it’s right for her to start shaming me with Bible verses, especially since she knows I don’t go to church. I think that was just another one of her digs. How “Christian” is that? Can you think of a way to make my Mom see reason and to let me go about my life without shutting me out of hers?

Mama’s Girl

Dear Mama’s Girl:

Your mother is being overbearing in her demands and is holding you an emotional hostage in order to get her way…but while I disagree with her methods, I cannot say the same for her philosophy on how holidays should be spent. There is a reason why the Federal government has declared days like Thanksgiving and Christmas national holidays; it is so families can take the time off of work – without retaliation – in order to spend those days with their loved ones. (While I wish they would recognize major celebratory days of non-Christian beliefs, too, that is another argument).

Your plan to spend Thanksgiving shopping has more holes in it than a Babybel Swiss!

I am beholding the power of cheese!

To start, you mention that you want to give your children the “best Christmas ever” but seem to think abandoning them on Thanksgiving is no big deal. In a year of hardships it is more important than ever to count your blessings and hold fast to family. Dumping your children on your family to spend the day sleeping and shopping is not going to make them feel important and loved, regardless of what you buy them.

Second, by shopping on Thanksgiving you are denying store employees of the privilege (some would say right) to spend Thanksgiving with their families. This year Thanksgiving also happens to fall on the first full night of Hanukkah, so to be forced to work this day would be doubly offensive to those of the Jewish faith.

Third, I will add that Christmas is about different things to different people, but it is not about buying someone’s love through expensive gifts that you call ill afford to purchase. I understand your children are not looking forward to spending the day with their father and his new wife, but ruining their Thanksgiving in order to accomplish your plan for Christmas cheer is the wrong way to go about solving the problem.

Fourth, I want to mention that your mother was not quoting the Bible, but referencing 17th century Presbyterian minister Matthew Henry (1662 – 1714), who popularized this little known English proverb of unknown origins. Another Old English proverb is “wanting to eat your cake and have it, too” which seems to be what you want from your mother – approval to miss Thanksgiving and her open arms at Christmas. You realize that come Christmas you will need your Mom…has it occurred to you that maybe she needs you at Thanksgiving to make her holiday complete? If you want to go ahead with your Thanksgiving shopping plans you must do so without my blessing. I say that there will be enough sales between now and Christmas to equal the offerings of Black Friday.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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