Hey STARBUCKS, What About Thanksgiving?
On my way to work, I stopped at my local Starbucks, to grab my morning coffee.
The parking lot was packed!
What is going on?
Normally, there are two or three other cars outside belonging to the handful of customers milling around while waiting for their drink.
Not this morning!
I opened the door to a throng of people, all haphazardly meandering their way to the front counter. Instead of queuing up properly, in an orderly line, one after the other, civilized like.
I had never seen this before. Then, through the heads and shoulders of the people in front of me, I saw it. The reason for this public mass.
The Red Cup Syndrome
Behind the counter, baristas wore bright red aprons and were dashing about like reindeer, filling coffee orders. On the counter, just to the left of the espresso machine, in the drink “pick up” area were green” to go” cups with Christmas trees on them.
Then one of the baristas placed a new cup on the counter. A bright red cup! Here was the reason for the rather crowded gathering. The Starbucks Red Cup, while supplies last. Get yours before they are gone!
I entered my local cafe on the morning of the Holiday kick-off, and it is only the first week of November.
The two women in front of me darted in and out of our make-shift line to grab “early Christmas-gifts”, or so they kept repeating to themselves. And you know what? They were not the only ones. There were others hoarding the different items, fearing they would disappear off the shelves if not bought today.
As I stood there watching this scene unfold before me, I felt my own anxiety “Christmas? Should I be buying gifts? What would anyone want? Wait….. how many days until Christmas?” Several deep, cleansing breaths helped me come back to reality and realize, it is only the beginning of November!
Hey Starbucks, what happened to Thanksgiving?
A Season of Gratitude
It seems our retail culture has skipped right past the holiday of gratitude and directly into the season of sales.
Perhaps there is not as large a profit in a holiday which focuses on simple things like time spent together sharing a meal, versus an extended holiday period founded in consumerism with the concept “more is better” and “buy it now”.
I pondered this anomaly as I progressed forward in line, eventually coming face to face with a bright and cheery Starbucks partner, “ Hi, what can I get started for you?”
This holiday season, even the one started in early November, let’s take a moment, just five minutes or ten minutes, whatever you can spare, to be grateful. Write down one item each day, something you are thankful and grateful for. One a day from now until Thanksgiving. Place them in a jar, a box, a bowl, or whatever container you choose. Then, come Thanksgiving day, pull them out and re-read them, maybe read them aloud to family and friends. My prediction is you will find you have a lot to be thankful for on the day dedicated to appreciation and gratitude.
While it may feel as if the world of retail has passed this holiday over, by stopping to pause and give thanks you are saying you have not.
MaryRose is a writer/speaker/advocate living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest between mountains and water; she is a traveler, massage therapist, a vegetarian foodie, and mom to two amazing grown kids. She is active in a local PFLAG chapter and works for social justice with the LGBTQ+ community.
Contact her at MaryRoseDentonWriter, @maryrosedentonauthor on FaceBook, or on Twitter.
She believes in Meraki, which is what happens when you leave a piece of yourself, your soul, creativity, or love, in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it.