Thanksgiving is a complicated American holiday. It’s both a secular feast day centered around gatherings of family and friends and a yearly reinforcement of our wildly inaccurate origin story, a cultural mythology that obfuscates our colonialist history. Its placement on the calendar also makes it the starting bell to our annual flood of extended consumerism, the intensity of which is read like tea leaves by investors and the stock market to determine the economic health of our nation.
Here are some resources we’ve been collecting that might come in handy as you navigate political waters over the gravy boat, and for when and where you decide to spend your post-dinner dollars.
During your family’s dinner, keep your cool and make a difference where you can.
Here is an awesome guide from IndivisibleSF (San Francisco) on how to talk to your friends and family about Trump. Start from deciding if talking is physically dangerous or just uncomfortable. “If you’re just worried that the conversation will be unpleasant, but you’re not worried about it being dangerous to you, we encourage you to speak up. It may not be pleasant, but it is what your country needs from you.”
Then it give solid ideas on how to tackle conversations, from unfunny “jokes” to attacks on “political correctness”, along with a list of great reference materials.
Take notes for future holiday gift ideas!
Michele at Small Deeds Done has great holiday gift ideas for these relatives based on their Thankgiving dinner-table conversations, including those who:
- think climate change is a hoax brought about by government “scientists
- blame everything on the “liberal media” and claim that no one is reporting the real facts.
- are ardent forced-birthers who vote solely on a candidates’ record on that subject
- agree that the refugee crisis is terrible but that we have no responsibility to help.
- declare that they’re not racist.
- insist that we take care of “Americans First”.
- feel that schools are crumbling and want to tell you why.
- admit they voted for Trump and are now alarmed at his record on LGBTQ rights.
Pull out your laptop or tablet and make sure everyone is registered to vote. Yes, be that relative.
- For those who aren’t sure they’re registered, help them check here. Ask the question. A lot of people in CA don’t know they have to re-register if they change their address, their name or their party. (For CA, click here for direct access)
- For those who’ve never registered, sign them up here.
- Voter.org also texts younger people on their 18th birthday and help them register to vote. They must be 13 or older to enroll.
- The NAACP is asking voters to reach out to register five of their friends. Join their campaign here.
- Explain to young people at your gathering why their votes are so important. Ask them about issues that are important to them and how voting outcomes affect those issues.
Before you join the after-holiday shopping frenzy, investigate greener products and greener ways to shop:
- 12 greener options than Amazon, whose labor practices are hurting workers and are terrible for the environment.
- Tips for buying sustainable children’s clothing
- Buy “greener” chocolate that doesn’t contribute to abusive child labor and deforestation.
- Buy “greener” gifts.
Commit to buying gifts from black-owned businesses:
This week is Shop Black Week, where every consumer is asked to support a black-owned business by making at least one purchase between November 22nd and 29th in order to “permanently and systematically change the economic condition of the Black community forever.” Click here for participating businesses in your state.
After you eat – play games, talk, read a book, take a nap, watch a movie, sing Alice’s Restaurant and dance around the kitchen – just don’t go shopping on Thanksgiving Day!
(From Labor 411) For the past two weeks, Labor 411 has been shining a spotlight on how companies are treating their workers this Thanksgiving Day. They have generated tremendous public awareness, informing consumers on who the ethical (and unethical) employers are.
Companies like Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Target, have put profits over the people who work for them. Remember, they aren’t offering critical services, like emergency room workers, police officers or firefighters. These are companies that just sell you stuff, like a television, one day earlier than Black Friday, at the cost of low paid employees not getting a paid day off to spend with their families like everyone else. These companies participating in this abusive practice are listed here and here.
Sign this petition to tell Walmart, Target and Macy’s to give their employees Thanksgiving Day off.
- AC Moore
- Academy Sports and Outdoors
- Ace Hardware
- Acme Tools
- Allen Edmonds
- American Girl
- Ann Taylor
- at home
- Barnes & Noble (open for Black Friday as early as 8 a.m.)
- Big 5
- BJ’s – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
- Bob’s Discount Furniture
- Burlington Coat Factory (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
- Crate & Barrel (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
- Craft Warehouse
- Cost Plus World Market
- Dress Barn
- DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse
- Fred Meyer
- Guitar Center – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
- H&M Stores
- Half-Price Books
- Harbor Freight Tools
- HEB Stores
- Hobby Lobby – (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
- Home Depot
- HomeGoods – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
- JO-ANN (open for Black Friday at 6 a.m.)
- Jos. A Bank
- Lamps Plus
- Lowe’s – (open for Black Friday at 6 a.m.)
- Marshalls – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
- Mills Fleet Farm
- Music & Arts
- Neiman Marcus (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
- Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack
- Office Depot (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
- OfficeMax (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
- PcRichard and Son
- Pier 1 Imports
- Petco – (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
- Pet Supplies Plus
- most Pizza Huts
- Raymour and Flanigan
- REI (closed on Black Friday, as well)
- Sam’s Club
- Sears Outlet
- Sierra Trading Post – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
- Sportsman’s Warehouse
- Stein Mart
- Sur la table
- The Container Store
- The Paper Store
- Trader Joes
- T.J.Maxx – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
- Tractor Supply
- True Value
- West Marine.