Well Happy Thanksgiving, aka “Shopping Season Eve”. I thought it was a good time to remember the early days of Thanksgiving, as described by my Grand Papa Ernest. Grandpapa swore that his Grandpapa’s Grandpapa was there. With a giant glass of Wild Turkey in one hand, he would gather the kids and happily relive the tale of the first Thanksgiving….
You see, one day word came to Plymouth Rock that a Macy’s had opened in New York. None of the men knew what a Macy’s was, but the women swore that they simply could not be caught at New Year’s in a gown that was not from this glorious place. Tales of lavish rooms filled with every kind of merchandise imaginable excited the oldest and youngest women in the town. And all their freshest inventory arrived the 4th week of November.
Now the trip from Plymouth to New York was at least a day in each direction. So for a full day of shopping on Saturday, the women had to leave on Friday. At first the men saw no problem with this, and they approved the plan that the town women had come up with.
But on Saturday, after a full day of no one fixing them a meal, the men were singing a different tune. They were hungry, then hungrier on Sunday, and when the women returned, the men were drunk on wine and whiskey, with no food in their bellies.
So the next year, the town elders decreed the women would not be allowed to travel to Macy’s. One of Macy’s marketing people read the Plymouth blog in which this was discussed, and checked with other towns. Plymouth was not the only town in which the women were flocking to Macy’s, and what seemed like sure success seemed in peril. The marketing guy realized something must be done.
Being a man of the world, the marketing man knew quite a few Native Americans. He quickly struck a deal with one of the chiefs. The chief had been working with the Macy’s buyers for months to get their hand crafted moccasins and shawls into the fall season, but to no awail. In return for Macy’s carrying the merchandise, the tribes would reach out to their pilgrim friends.
The tribes would invite the men and women of each town to a giant feast, to be held the 4th Thursday of November. There would be way way way too much food. And so in an act of kindness, the tribes allowed – almost forced – the pilgrims to take the leftovers home with them.
With a house full of leftovers, and tons of extra ale and wine, the men pilgrims suddenly realized an exciting three day weekend might be had. However, their wives, who were now stuck in town, had given them a long list of demands and chores.
The men were not pleased, and quickly convened a meeting to discuss options. With all the food and drink, they certainly could allow the ladies to go to New York. But they might not make it in time.
A few of the unmarried men said they would be happy to see this Macy’s and lead the group. Thus they quickly organized a giant horse and buggy-pool. They left at the break of dawn, combining the buggies together to make colorful super buggies, and played their musical instruments to pass the time. They did not stop until they reached New York, where they saw many other caravans and combined them together. They quickly ended up in a long line, where they proceeded straight to Macy’s.
The men were home and happy. The women were shopping amidst a mass of chaos and frivolity. The Native Americans had goods in the store. And Macy’s never looked back.
My Grandpapa swears his Grandpapa’s Grandpapa was that marketing guy from Macy’s. I suppose we’ll never know for sure.