Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

Christmas Minneapolis Dayton's 1967.

For years I lied to people - Darold did too - telling them we were going to my sister's for Thanksgiving. People just couldn't bear the idea two guys wouldn't be with family for Thanksgiving.

This year I really will be going to my sister's for Thanksgiving.
Being alone for the holidays was never a big deal for me, and here is why.
My reputation for hating the holidays was not true. My withdrawal at from social affairs over Thanksgiving and Christmastime was a result of my work at Dayton’s and had nothing to do with the family or hating the season. For weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, it was constant work getting store interiors and windows done for Christmas – lots of overtime and some all-nighters - the night before Thanksgiving could be a nightmare. Animated windows, synched with the auditorium could make things miserable - it was like a Broadway opening. (Darold did the same work, when we first met he never liked Christmas because of it.)
Thanksgiving was a day to sleep-in since we often worked all night. Likewise in Senior year, my 1st Christmas was watchman for animated windows and getting backgrounds for Spring done. I worked until Midnight through Christmas.
Later, after entering the monastery, Christmas became a more spiritual, solitary event. Then when I worked at the Cancer Home, I worked weekends and holidays so people with families could have those days off – for nearly 16 years. Mid-week I did my artwork. Long story short, not being around was never about avoiding family or a rejection of family. To be sure, sometimes I avoided my parents on the holidays because they were trouble makers – but they never caused me to hate Christmas.
Together, Darold and I reinvented our holiday observance. It began on S. Nicholas Eve and went through Christmas, Russian Christmas and 12th Night. His mom and dad were our 'immediate family' and they loved all the celebration and food and being together. It was magical and unrepeatable.
This year I'm grateful to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her awesome family, and Christmas with my little brother.
Happy Thanksgiving - and remember those who serve and protect.


  1. The very best Thanksgiving to you, my friend.

    I think the holidays are what we make of it. We don't have to act like people on TV or the movies. To me, it sounds like, even with all the craziness and work, your holidays always had some joy and that you remember the real reason why we celebrate. And there's not a thing wrong with that.

    I have been estranged from my immediate family for over 20 years. Like you, however, I have been blessed with exceptionally loving and hospitable in-laws. At first, it was very painful to be away from my own people and being part of another family's traditions, but over time my in-laws became *my* family. Thanks be to God, it's been a long time since I have had a sad Thanksgiving or Christmas.

    I am so glad that things have improved with your siblings, and that you will not be alone for the holidays. God bless and protect you.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Terry, Susan and all who visit here. I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade today and long for the happier times we once knew. Hope we can reclaim the family focused holiday joy and get back to the importance of what makes us Christian.

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Mr. H. Aren't we fortunate to have a secular holiday that, at its heart, is spiritual - that encourages us to be thankful for all our blessings? We did have happy times in this country, but we have also had our share of tragedy (9/11, Vietnam, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and so much more). Sometimes we have to go on without people we love because of war, divorce, death, or simply estrangement and growing apart from one another. Looking back, it is sometimes a wonder how we ever got through it all. But in my case, I try to look around and think about things that have improved. For instance, the pandemic is a bit more controlled, and we are not kept from going to Mass and so on. I hope you enjoy the very most blessed holiday with all you love!

  3. Yes Susan you are so right. Looking back we tend to overlook the hard times and bad events. It just seems life was simpler, choices clearer and people happier. As we enter advent I am reminded that it is about waiting. We are all waiting aren’t we?

    PS: Terry I imagine you store windows and holiday decorations were the best and brought untold delight to thousands.

    1. I agree, Mr. H. Terry sounds like he has the imagination that would create a window that would please children and adults, like the beautiful store windows from my childhood (remember "The Christmas Story", when the children were looking at the Christmas windows? I know how they felt!).

  4. Oddly enough - I missed the festivities - started coming down with something. Today I'm in and out of bed, drinking liquids and so on. Seems to be a cold or flu?

    1. Sounds like you are getting what my husband is almost done with. Started out as a head cold with congestion and moved to the lungs. Lots of coughing and a headache. He said Nyquil Severe helped. Time for lots of tea and chicken soup, my dear friend. Please take care and get some rest!


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