Top Three Takeaways – November 30th
- Family first. Prior to taking a Thanksgiving break, I mentioned my belief that many of us likely need the opportunity to be with our families and carry on our traditions, more than ever this year. As a society, we haven’t been so disrupted since the end of World War II. However, against the backdrop of COVID becoming this year’s seasonal flu, public health agencies like the CDC warned against celebrating Thanksgiving with family who doesn’t live with us. Some officials like Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot banned Thanksgiving get togethers altogether. Aside from appreciating each and every day that I in Florida, where at least I know I’m free, I can safely say I was right. It least as it applies to me. The opportunity to see my parents this Thanksgiving was a blessing, and it was needed. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, let alone next Thanksgiving – especially in the case of my dad. The opportunity to carry on Thanksgiving traditions was as important as ever to me, and seemingly for all of us. Speaking of which...
- A new hallmark for the Hallmark Channel... A Thanksgiving tradition with my parents came to an abrupt end Thanksgiving night. After dinner and desert, along with a bit mediocre piano playing of Christmas music by me, we settled down together to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie. The Hallmark Channel had been perhaps the last commercial bastion of reliable traditional family values free from politics and overtures. I say had because Hallmark decided it’s primetime Thanksgiving Christmas movie would be the time to make its new approach known. About a half hour into the movie the most overt/passionate kiss of any couple I’ve seen on Hallmark occurred between a couple of young good-looking guys. The kind of thing you’ll find within just about every TV show and movie not on Hallmark. For my family, it wasn’t really about the guys kissing. It was time and place. The scene led to an observation by all of us, which led to a conversation about the state of the entertainment industry, which led to political discussions, which led to us turning off the movie which had deprived us of what we’d always gone to Hallmark’s Christmas movies for in the first place. A break from everything else. It was clear Hallmark wanted to make a statement and they did. They’re now little different than the rest of the entertainment industry.
- Just the facts... As for the rest of the holiday season and how you might plan for family get togethers given that COVID isn’t going to just go away... Consider this...according to a KFF study in August, 53% of Americans had impaired mental health conditions due to the pandemic. That means most of us and that was in August! How high do you think it is now? Related, a study in the Medical Journal BMJ, illustrated those suffering from isolation were 29% more likely to suffer from a cardiac event and 32% more likely to have a stroke. What are the odds that millions of Americans who didn’t get together because of fears of the virus are worse off than they would have been even if they’d contracted the virus? We should prioritize the needs of our families first. That means being safe and responsible ourselves but not isolating our loved ones during the holidays. I’m certainly glad I didn’t. Also, a Christmas Story marathon will be playing on Christmas Day in our house. That movie literally includes a line about not liking politics. 3
Photo Credit: Getty Images