Well, it is Black Friday. No we aren't going to do any shopping today. That isn't anything unusual because we have always avoided shopping from Thanksgiving through New Year's. Simply don't like the crowds. I once worked in a store in the largest local mall and had to work during that stretch of time. One day I was scheduled for an 11am start but the traffic was backed up for at least five miles and even though I left home in time to be half an hour early I wound up an hour and a half late. I only had one other retail job after that one--at a small party supply store in a strip mall. Even that store was slammed at times during the season. Nowadays I am very glad to be retired.
Thanksgiving was quiet and we stayed home. Mom fixed an almost traditional meal. The turkey was leftovers from a breast we fixed about a month ago. That provided two meals then and several packages of meat in the freezer. The sweet potatoes, dressing, and green bean casserole were all made from scratch. We will be eating on it today also--maybe even tomorrow.
The big family get togethers over Thanksgiving and Christmas went by the boards about five years ago. My sister and brother usually hosted those but each were getting to the point that their energy wasn't up to it. Sister turned 62 last year and my brother will be 71 this coming year. Besides the nieces and nephews were breaking off into their own family groups and usually showed up long enough to say "Hi," give us all a hug and leave.
I noticed all the people on the news/talk shows (including the Macy's parade coverage)--both the talking heads and the interviewees gushing about the "near normal" feeling of the holiday. Everyone is so desperate for something that seems normal even if only for this one day--or two if you throw in our post-gastronomic-orgy shopping orgy.
The one cloud coming late yesterday was the news that a new COVID variant has popped up in Southern Africa with more mutations of the spike protein than any previous variant have shown. They don't know yet how those mutations will affect the virus but several European countries have already announced travel restrictions on those coming from several countries in the area. (Update: they gave the variant its Greek letter this afternoon--Omicron.) Very early last year I wondered if masks would become part of our everyday dress and distancing an automatic behavior. As rapidly as COVID mutates that might still happen.