Thanksgiving Reflections

For some, Thanksgiving is a feast with family; for others a time to find solace in the wake of loss or change. For some, Thanksgiving is at home, for some a visit elsewhere, and for others, a gathering of co-workers on the job.

Home Again, a Soldier Recalls Thanksgivings Far Away by Nick Schede
This Thanksgiving was special for my family and me. It had been four years since we sat at the dinner table together and shared a Thanksgiving meal. Read more…

A Dad’s Triumph Among Family Changes by Xavier Lopez
Thanksgiving wasn’t a holiday I was ever particularly fond of. I didn’t discover it until I came to this country 12 years ago, and even then it wasn’t something I looked forward to. Read more…

Illness Transforms a Family’s Thanksgiving by Sasha Rampersaud
Brilliant shades of orange, green and brown burst from a centerpiece skillfully arranged by my father, the florist. Read more…

On Thanksgiving, Rekindling a Sisterly Bond by Lenore Fedow
My sister, Justine, sits across from me on the couch; legs crossed, the glow of her phone screen illuminating a face reminiscent of – but not quite like – my own, her thumbs moving rapidly over the keypad.  Read more…

Working the Night Shift on  Thanksgiving by Melissa Jones
I was one of five people working the night shift on Thanksgiving at a country club in upstate New York. The workers with few family attachments were the ones selected to work the least desirable shifts. Read more…

On Thanksgiving, a Tradition Easy as Pie by Alison Ng
I’ve always found it funny that my best friend, who hates pie, is stuck amid thousands of them every Thanksgiving. I’m reminded of this as I stand in the dark in my driveway, shaking from the cold, as a silver Honda pulls up. I hop in, hoping we’re not going to be late. Read more…

Finding Balance in a Two-Part Tradition by Alicea Ulmer
When my parents divorced 13 years ago, my siblings and I started a long holiday commute between my mom’s home in Far Rockaway and my dad’s on Staten Island. We usually made the two-hour trip in the middle of the day so we could see both parents. Read more…

One Family’s Different Approach to Thanksgiving by Lynn Chawengwongsa
I did not eat homemade pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. I did not stay at home watching Charlie Brown deny the existence of the Great Pumpkin. Read more…

One Family’s Different Approach to Thanksgiving Dinner

Article and Photographs by Lynn Chawengwongsa

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Finding Balance in a Two-Part Thanksgiving

Article and Photos by Alicea Ulmer

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On Thanksgiving, a Tradition Easy as Pie

Article and Photos by Alison Ng 

[Read more…]

Home Again, a Soldier Recalls Thanksgivings Far Away

By Nick Schede

[Read more…]

A Dad’s Triumph Amid Family Changes

Article and Photograph by Xavier Lopez

[Read more…]

Illness Transforms a Family’s Thanksgiving

By Sasha Rampersaud

[Read more…]

On Thanksgiving, Rekindling a Sisterly Bond

By Lenore Fedow

[Read more…]

Working the Night Shift on Thanksgiving

By Melissa Jones

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Taking the Pulse on Black Friday

Macys ShoppersAs the holiday shopping season got off to a strong start, exceeding the expectations of most retailers, Dollars & Sense reporters hit the stores late Thanksgiving Day and early Friday. From Manhattan to Danbury, Conn., they found sales promotions that fell short of customer expectations; tired retail employees — some of whom were delighted by the prospect of a lucrative Black Friday weekend and others who resented being pulled away from their family holidays — and much more.
Black Friday at Woodbury Commons:
The Bargain Shopper’s Pleasure and the Employee’s Pain

By Erica Hanger
Malina Lambach does not relish Black Friday.

“Imagine having to practically inhale your Thanksgiving dinner, say your goodbyes to your family and not be able to spend the rest of your holiday in a food coma like everybody else,” said Lambach, a sales associate whose 12-hour shift at Saks Fifth Avenue OFF Fifth at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, N.Y., began at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours before the store officially opened.

Every year thousands of shoppers from all over the tri-state area flock to Woodbury Common, a 220-store mall, for door buster deals that begin at midnight on Thanksgiving. However, some larger department stores, including Saks, require employees to arrive even earlier on Thanksgiving Day to prepare for the shopping madness. Read more…
Where Are the Sales?

By Ashley Tavoularis
Walking into the Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, Conn., at midnight, on my first ever Black Friday outing, I was expecting to be ushered into the sale of all sales. Credit card in hand, I was ready to buy as much as possible of my favorite shopping indulgence — clothes — while spending as little as I could.

Long lines in front of Foot Locker, Victoria’s Secret, Champ’s Sports and Macy’s looked promising, as did signs displaying sales of anywhere from 20 to 60 percent off. Entering The Gap, which had one such sign, I was excited to see the sale items lined up in front. However, nothing was of interest to me. I moved toward the back of the store, perusing the clearance section, which was jammed mostly with tattered, damaged and unappealing summer clothes. Miraculously, I ended up finding everything I had wanted—but none of it was on sale. Buying a pair of black slacks and work blouse I desperately needed, I left feeling duped. Read more…
A Veteran Salesman’s First Black Friday at Macy’s

By Jason Volnick
Marvin Robinson, 50, has been a salesman in the second floor men’s department at Macy’s flagship department store on Herald Square for less than a year. But after Black Friday, he feels like a seasoned veteran.

Soon after the store opened at midnight, the men’s department, like most of the rest of the store, looked like a tornado had ripped through it, with shoppers in search of bargains tearing through the folded clothes, many of which ended up cluttering the aisles. Read more…
Black Friday Shopping in Harlem Has Just Gotten A Lot Easier

By Michael Smith
On 116th Street and the FDR Drive, the two-year-old East River Plaza Multiplex, which includes such big-box retailers as Target, Best Buy and Costco, was packed at midnight on Thanksgiving. Cars jammed the multi-level parking garage. And the line of pedestrians heading for the mall’s ramps and escalators stretched down the block.

Traditionally, Harlemites would have to travel downtown to 86th Street, Time Square or Herald Square, just to name a few infamous Black Friday war zones. Read more…
On Black Friday Weekend, the Queens Center Mall Becomes a Kids Zone

By Tiffani C. Dawson
Black Friday weekend at Queens Center Mall isn’t just for bargain-hunting adults. The busiest shopping weekend of the year has turned some stores into kids’ zones, with strollers and tired or unruly children filling the aisles. Read more…