With Remembrance Day around the corner, I am thinking about the hours of store openings for this and many other “holidays”. Many stores will be closed until 1 pm on Monday. I think that this is a necessity to respect the Day, as well as the men and women who fight and have fought for our freedoms we enjoy today.
I began thinking about other holidays when stores are open that “should” be days to be with family. Ones that come to mind are Thanksgiving, Christmas (many discussions are ongoing about opening stores other than 7-11s or gas stations on Christmas Day) and Sundays mornings. Although I am not Christian and do not necessarily need Christmas Day off or Sunday mornings to attend Church, I do see the value in keeping stores closed for these times. These times should be for family time. The point has been raised, which is a one of value, that the stores need to be open for people that work shift work, nights etc… However, I would argue that if all of the people at retail stores on Sunday morning were, the majority would NOT be shift workers or work nights.
This is something that is slipping away from us as a country – family time. We are extending store hours, working longer hours, not sitting down as families for dinner, relying more and more on technology for entertainment, and overall, not spending time together communicating with our children and each other. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that all of these trends are resulting in increased depression, drug use, promiscuity, and disrespect for authority by our youth. Our society is so disconnected within our families, that taking away our “forced” family time such as holidays and retail closures is likely a final step toward the destruction of family strength, communication and tradition.
So what are we to do? Many families are already doing amazing things to stay connected. Scheduled family dinners – once a week or more – is a great way to have face to face communication. You cannot text your kids or be on their Facebook or social media to actually have a quality relationship and communication with them. It is a lot more difficult to lie to someone’s face than it is to send an email, text or tweet. To that, you can’t make eye contact, hug or feel the warmth of a smile over a text.
Keeping with traditions is another fantastic way to not only to stay connected as a family, but also to pass on family values and history. Christmas Eve appetizers, summer lake-life, Christmas Day skating, Halloween decorating, Passover sedars, Sunday morning bunch, Friday night Sabbath dinners or monthly game night are some excellent ways to re-connect and keep up with traditions.
So this Monday as I pay respect to our Veterans, I will also pay respect to my family. I have created a plan of what we are going to do. It is nothing too exciting, but it will be fun and memorable for us. What are you planning to do this Remembrance Day? Don’t let an opportunity to connect slip by.