Thanksgiving in America, that’s a week of extremes

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Thanksgiving turkey (Image by ruocaled)

Thanksgiving turkey (Image by Ruocaled)

Brace yourself. This week is a week of extremes here in the USA.

Thanksgiving-week is a one of extremes: this week surrounds Thanksgiving, a holiday celebrated by almost every American. The holiday is not directly linked to any religion, making it the most widespread celebrated day, mostly with family.

Family!

Meeting the family in a large country as the United States involves some travel for most people. 47 Million people are expected to take the car, train or plane to get to their celebration destiny. Wednesday is one of the worst days to travel in this country in the year. Rental car agencies have no cars left, the highways are packed with cars bumper to bumper, the trains are loaded and the airports are a bigger mess than any other day. One would image that was hardly possible.

The first thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth in 1621.It is a national holiday since 1863.

This week, a majority of the 240 million turkeys eaten yearly will come to an end on a rich and filled family dinner. One turkey will be spared, as the president will pardon it this week. For all the other turkeys, a buffet that must include cranberry sauce, will be their last stop.

Open on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving being a nationwide observed holiday also calls for some controversy. The weekend of Thanksgiving is one of the most important shopping days, and some stores have decided in the past years to open on Thursday. The staff has to miss the biggest family gathering, to add a day of business to the store they work for. Companies such as GameSpot are now giving priority to their staff over the money, and they close their stores. Only for Thanksgiving, because at midnight their stores will open to start Black Friday as soon as possible.

Shop till we drop

Black Friday is the holiday of shoppers, the feast of the consumer, the party for materialist gratification. Over 92 million Americans (that’s 1 in 3) will go out and spend a total of $59 billion on that day. Stores are already communicating (or leaking) their deals. So, my deepest respect to any reader of this blog who has to deal with these masses on Friday.  If traffic is bad on Wednesday, Friday will be close second. People driving from one to the next shopping location to find the deal of a lifetime, and people driving back home after the Thanksgiving celebration.

Black Friday is also the first day that Christmas decorations become acceptable. When I look around, it seems this tradition has died. Now we can really start counting down to the lightning of the christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, causing traffic chaos, this time we’ll make sure no living soul can move an inch in midtown Manhattan on December 3.

In New York City

Staying in town? have a look at this list in Time Out NY.

Cyber Monday

Those who couldn’t find all their stuff in the stores, can have their day on Cyber Monday. It’s the Black Friday, for the online stores. Amazon, Overstock and even the traditional retailers such as Macy’s are ready to take the last part of your shopping budget for this extreme week.

So by next week, on Tuesday, we can go back to work and wait for the credit card bill telling us how great this extreme week was…

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