CLAY COUNTY – Skipping one of our annual holidays here in America should be easier than ever this year.
What holiday could that be, Wesley? If you’ve read my now-yearly column around this time of year, you already know the answer: Thanksgiving. It is arguably the worst holiday of the year for many reasons and while I’m never too excited about it come November, I’m urging you all to join my train of thought.
It’s safe to say COVID-19 has dominated the talk of 2020. There are those who believe it to be overblown or downplay its significance. I downplay my need to go to a gym and clean up my eating habits – that doesn’t make the very real problem any less real. You need to believe the virus is real just like I need to go to the gym and eat something a little greener.
You might be wondering why I bring up COVID-19 at all.
It’s because I think you should just stay home this year instead of going to that massive family reunion-style Thanksgiving dinner. You could be the next COVID-19 super event and wouldn’t that be embarrassing. I was just reading about a large wedding where more than 80 guests contracted the virus, including the bride and groom. Their wedding will always be remembered, as “Friends” might put it, “The one where all the guests contracted a potentially lethal virus.”
You don’t want your Thanksgiving dinner to be that, and let’s be real: the food and seeing that one aunt, twice removed, but back in the family after marrying the brother or something like that isn’t worth it. This is the crux of my argument.
I say this every year and I will continue to do so: Thanksgiving food is the worst category of food. It’s a bunch of food we eat once a year because we all subconsciously know it’s not great, but for whatever reason eat every November anyway.
Here’s what your potential COVID-19 super-spreader event’s menu likely looks like: a turkey that you swear will be delicious that’s actually super dry and everyone is sad they’ll have to eat leftovers of it for the next week, a stuffing that one cousin brings that nobody actually likes to eat but does anyway so that the cousin doesn’t feel bad, some “fresh” green beans you bought from that guy on the side of the road who just days ago bought those “fresh” green beans at Walmart, and that one dish – this makes me cringe just writing it out – that’s sweet potatoes with marshmallows and cinnamon because that’s a totally normal thing to eat.
This is usually the part where I encourage you to bypass Thanksgiving in favor of Black Friday shopping, which I usually love but have soured on as the years go by, but this year, I’m going to tell you, much like you’re Thanksgiving dinner, it’s not worth it.
You already know how awful Black Friday is for the customer service workers who have to deal with you. The hours have been turned back from the Friday after Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving day, and now they have to deal with a bunch of shoppers who may or may not have contracted the virus at their super-spreader dinner or lunch.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I know Black Friday is a great shopping day for those who need that kind of financial savings to afford the presents they want to put under the tree next month.
I get that so if you absolutely must shop on Black Friday so that your child can have all the gifts they wanted this holiday season, maybe forego the Thanksgiving dinner with the 30-plus family members and wear a mask.
One day – hopefully – all of this COVID-19 stuff will be a blip in our timeline, but for now, it’s not a blip. It’s something we should all take seriously and one of the best things you could do for the rest of humanity is forego the large celebration of arguably our country’s most boring and overrated holiday.