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Pain of Change

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Posted 11-04-2011 at 11:08 PM by Jeff Westover
Updated 11-04-2011 at 11:12 PM by Jeff Westover

We live in a sea of change in my home. With kids in various states of chaos -- age 25, 19, 17, 15, 13, 11 and 9 -- change is what life is all about right now.

And I don't have to tell any of you how hard growing up can be.

One of the elements of growing up is dealing with things that have changed beyond our control. Aubree, for example, still helps track Santa on Christmas Eve. That's in her control. Whether we get snow on Christmas is not within her control. And sometimes that is hard to deal with.

I had the other day my teenager daughters (which is code for "shoppers") starting to talk about getting up at 4am on Black Friday and hitting the stores. Like little old ladies they were waxing nostalgic.

I hated to throw cold water on them. But as this week has unfolded with Black Friday news it has become evident that the 5am openings of the past are just that -- over.

Now all stores look to either be open on Thanksgiving Day or planning to open at midnight.

It is funny how just a shift in a few hours suddenly changes the dynamics of two great traditions of a holiday weekend.

For years, Thanksgiving has been a sabbath of sorts. Everything is closed and the day is spent together as a family. Food is a key element. But so too is watching the parade, getting up early to stuff the turkey (after staying up late the night before to make the pies), playing every board game in the closet together, decorating the tree, having a fire, visiting with grandparents and planning for Black Friday.

Then there is Black Friday. In the dark of night the kids -- some older ones who never went to bed -- creep up the stairs, run a brush over teeth, put hair up in pony tails and jump into coats and the pile into cars, Christmas music blasting and spontaneous singing as the morning adventure doesn't represent a plan or an actual thought of spending money. The event is more people watching than anything.

The first drive by is Best Buy, closest to the house and one of the biggest stages for oogling Black Friday loons. Out there with their tents and sleeping bags, looking wretched and on most Black Fridays in Utah -- frozen -- one of the kids will invariably yell out the car window "Thanks for saving my place in line, I'm here to relieve you!", drawing boos or claps, depending upon the moods we encounter.

A first usual stop is JCPenney, where the kids will each take a different entrance to get their usual Disney snow globe giveaway. Once we snagged six of them, once only one.

And before we move on again we will get lost on the way to Walmart and end up at Denny's for hot chocolate.

Well all that has changed. Now the decision has to be made: does Thanksgiving mean hanging out til midnight and then heading out the door....or do we give up Black Friday altogether?

Like little old ladies the daughters debate it. They aren't happy. Whose bright idea was this? Complain, complain, complain.

Growing up is hard. Change is difficult. And decisions have to be made. And who knows? Maybe a new -- dare we say better -- memory will surface and a new tradition develop.

Stay tuned.
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  1. Old Comment
    gabulldawg's Avatar
    Great post..
    Posted 11-05-2011 at 05:34 AM by gabulldawg gabulldawg is offline
 
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