Commercialism at its Finest (?)

I think I realized that commercials were starting to get bizarre about a year ago; around the time back to school commercials were starting to air in 2011. The ones that specifically stick out in my mind are the ones from Target. Do y’all remember the dorky music teacher singing about denim? That damn jingle became the ear-worm from hell for me. I could not get that song out of my head until Christmas.

Then, too, was that same year’s crazy homemaker who spent weeks warming up and training for the Black Friday sale at (where else?) Target.

Fast forward to this year’s back to school season…Not only did Target absolutely deface some of my all time favorite 80’s retro songs, but JCP came out with a bone chilling commercial that I found utterly depressing.

It was still early August out here in “go to the beach” country; the free kids’ cuts in August commercial. They showed this adorable little girl swinging across the rings in a swimsuit, with the wonderful backdrop of the beach. But then the angle shifts, and we see the poor thing finishing her journey on the rings and landing, dressed in her new school clothes, in the school yard and grinning like back to school is just the best! (insert gushing voice here) thing ever! Now, at my age, you know it’s been a good, oh, I don’t know? Ten or fifteen years since a back to school commercial really got under my skin, but this one absolutely did.

Yesterday, as I was sucking down coffee with the Hubs and watching Good Morning America, I heard one of the hosts refer to Black Friday as the “annual orgy of capitalism,” and I literally laughed out loud. You see, this girl avoids retail like the plague pretty much from Thanksgiving until after the new year. Shoppers can be scary this time of year, and while I am generally a pacifist, my mouth has been known to get away from me during rare excursions to my local retail outlet. Let’s be honest. There are only so many times a person can be rammed by shopping carts in a single trip to the store before even the most peace-loving person will go off. Folks are just rude during the holidays! Drives me nuts, so I shop online. Safer for everyone that way, trust me.

I think the commercials that tickle me the most are the ones where people are getting cars for Christmas. Cars? Really? I am happy with a new bathrobe, so a car is inconceivable to me. Johnny, on the other hand, is a little creeped out by the talking exclamation point in the Big Lots commercials. This happy little piece of punctuation is a whole lot more realistic to me than the idea of finding that brand new Benz in the driveway with a big red bow on it. Just sayin’

And Target? For Black Friday, they did not disappoint, again this year. There are two that made me want to switch channels as soon as I saw them the first time, and only one got better the more I heard it, because we both laugh at it. The other? The more I saw it, the more I wanted to throw something at the TV.

So, in honor of the season, I present to you these, in order of preference, if you can call it that:

and

Which commercials do you love this time of year? Which ones can’t you stand? I look forward to seeing what everyone else thinks.

Until Next Time….

Thanksgiving…Again. ALREADY???

Who are you and what have you done with my year?  It sure doesn’t seem like a year since I tried turducken for the first time.

So I have a loaf’s worth of bread cubes drying in the oven for my favorite dressing recipe ever…My mom’s. *insert heart shape here*

There is a 15 pound bird thawing in water in the kitchen sink.

There is chopped celery and an onion in the fridge. Now while that may not seem like a really big deal to you? It is to me. I went to the grocery store last night to snag a bird and the rest of the fixins, and there was not one stalk of celery to be had at the local Food Lion. WTH?  NO CELERY? Two days before Thanksgiving?  UNHEARD of.

I went off to work this morning with that nagging thought in the back of my mind. I even DREAMED about it. Who would have thought that some tasteless zero-calorie veggie wannabe would consume that much of my brain, anyway?

I called home and told Johnny I’d stop at the IGA since it’s right down the way from the hospital. You know, that way he wouldn’t have to go out if he didn’t want to. (Do y’all remember what happened the last time I thought I’d save Johnny a trip to the store?) Fortunately, nothing hit the ground (well, except for the loaf of bread I dropped, but it was going to be cubes, anyway), but what should have been a ten minute excursion took well over thirty minutes.

Note to self: AVOID THE GROCERY STORE ON THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!!!  You would think I’d remember that little detail.  I forgot the injectable marinade I wanted to put into the turkey, but you know what? Too bad. I’ll stick butter under the skin or something…I am so not going back out there.

So the good news is that I’m going to share said recipe with you. While you may not be able to use it this year, you might save it and try it at Christmas or even next year…

Mom’s Turkey Day Dressing

Ingredients:
1 loaf dry bread cubes, cut two days before (or the day before and placed in the oven on “warm” until dried);

1 small onion (diced)
2 or 3 stalks celery (diced)
1/2 stick butter/margarine
1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
Turkey giblets & neck

Process:
Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl.

Cook giblets, covered completely in water, until done, about 20 minutes. Chop and stir into the bread cubes.

Melt butter, cook celery and onion over medium-low heat until tender. Stir into the bowl of bread cubes. Add poultry seasoning.

Stir in broth from giblets, slowly, until stuffing is moist/wet, but not soggy. 

Transfer mix to a large baking dish (or two small ones) and place in oven with turkey about 45 minutes before the turkey is done. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, then lid off for the final 15 minutes.

Serve with gravy. YUMMMMM!

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So what do y’all think about Black Friday shopping starting so early tomorrow? I think it sucks for the employees. I do 99.9% of my holiday shopping online anymore, anyhow, so these seriously EARLY bird specials and door busters don’t really apply to me (never have, as I avoid retail outlets like the plague during the holidays), but I feel REALLY badly for the people that have to rearrange their family traditions so that they can go to work. As you know, I work at a hospital, and I know that people are going to be working tomorrow. It’s a fact of life that hospitals never close. Neither do police or fire departments. They really don’t have a choice, but retail outlets?

C’mon!  Have we, as a country, been reduced to such a level of commercialism and greed? I know it’s good to have a job, but the holiday season is hard enough on retail employees without taking away their last day of peace before the big C. *sigh*

Ok, I have to go flip the bird, if you will.

To all of my loyal readers, I wish you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Until next time…..

Black Friday? I Think Not!

You know, I hear a lot about Black Friday from my friends and on the news, and whatnot.

My friend Skwarl face booked the following, and I wholeheartedly agree:  Holy Crap, I can’t believe the rampant consumerism that would make me leave my friends and family ( and leftovers, and wine) to buy shit at a discount…Seriously?

Getting up at 0-dark-thirty for retail therapy? No thank you.  There is NOTHING therapeutic to me about getting up earlier than I would to go to the day job and fighting a mob of people to obtain items for my loved ones for Christmas (myself, included).

No thank you!

Obtained from the NY Times online article. Of course, I added the verbiage at the bottom. 😉

Before the day job decided to close for the day after Turducken Day, a few years ago, it was an all out battle for who got to take that day off. A few wanted it off so that they could get up early and hit the stores. Me? I just wanted a well-deserved four-day weekend with my family, kind of like the rest of the world not working retail at this time of year.

Now, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t EVER hit the stores on Black Friday.  I did. Once. Under extenuating circumstances.  No, really.  I didn’t WANT to go, however, my eldest son was home on leave while he was stationed in Japan. He had become engaged to a beautiful Japanese girl, and he’d brought her home for the Thanksgiving holiday.  She had never done Black Friday. I am fairly certain that this phenomenon/lunacy is strictly an American tradition.  So in the interest of showing Meg what it was really all about in the States on the busiest (read: ugliest) shopping day of the year, I packed them and all the kids up and off to the mall we went. And then to the mini-malls around town.

Never. Again. EVER.

The two things I remember the most about that day were the rude crowds, and the fact that my eldest passed some post Thanksgiving dinner gas that cleared out half the men’s department at Belk that morning.  THAT was great.  I tried to get him to do it again at some of the other stores, but he refused.

Fast forward to the present. What is it about having to start Black Friday on Thanksgiving evening this year?  Really?  Target, Kohls, Macy’s open at midnight. WalMart open at ten pm?  So we don’t have to wait outside?  SERIOUSLY?

I get that retail establishments want and NEED to grab their share of our allotted holiday dollars or whatever, but is it SO important that we have to expect retail employees to have to lose valuable holiday time with there families ON the holiday?  I mean I get having to work Black Friday, and pretty much every shopping day until Christmas, but is nothing sacred anymore?  Can’t these people at least have Thanksgiving dinner with their families without having to work their dinners around when the employee has to get some sleep because now we have to be at work before the stores open that same night? IMHO? SO not cool.

Maybe I’m not one to talk. I own a small business. I ran a Black Friday offer in that I waived my sitting fee for portraits today, yes, Black Friday.  I had FOUR available appointments.  Four only. I filled two.  By friends/peers.  The first one is at noon. NOON, people…Not five a.m. Not ten p.m. Turducken evening.  I like getting paid, too, but I’m not crazy.

Oh…and on a totally different train of thought:  We did have turducken last night for dinner.  With friends (not as sides, mind you, but as company).  It was REALLY good. I would totally recommend turducken as a protein main course. It was like a tasty poultry three-way. YUM!

 

 

And as a post script, I feel I must add that Black Friday has invaded both of my in-boxes.  I have gotten MORE junk email in two hours than I have in the last week or two combined!