Here’s why I’m still thankful in a season of Thanksgiving

Craig Hall

Although in this day and age of round-the-clock news, too much information based on misinformation and a seemingly unending barrage of what’s someone’s “truth,” it’s not getting any easier.

Now I could write column after column until my retirement on individual topics related to the above statement, because, let’s face it, everyday there’s something to go off about in our lives, our region, our country or our world. But every so often, we need a break. Let’s do that, shall we?

For the few dozen hearty (and seriously affected) souls who regularly read this half page of (without question) finite wisdom every edition, I say thank you first and foremost and then mention what you all know: Far and away my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.

I don’t know where it all began, but maybe it’s because my birthday on Nov. 26 aligns with Thanksgiving. I’m sure that’s part of it. I’m thankful I can have my favorite meal every year for my birthday that consists of the four basic food groups of Thanksgiving: turkey breast, real mashed potatoes and stuffing all slathered in gravy. And then there’s pumpkin pie slathered in my favorite dairy food group known as whipped cream. I loved those basics so much my main restaurant order growing up was exactly that, although pumpkin pie was a little harder to find most of the year.

I’m also thankful my birthday timing was around Thanksgiving for this simple reason: It wasn’t around Christmas. So the whole presents for Craigy didn’t take a hit like those unfortunate souls born late in December. As a matter of fact, guaranteed company always meant extra gifts. I’m also grateful as a single dad today I can buy a (huge) turkey breast instead of a whole turkey (with all the extra work I do not and care not to understand) and plenty of the two main fixings I enjoy (plus, like three pies) to have this same meal at least five times while overindulging on football over the holiday weekend.

If I had to point to another reason I love Thanksgiving it was the fact my retail — yes, RETAIL — experience was wonderful before it wasn’t. You see, I grew up in a time where stores weren’t open crazy hours with insane specials of “must haves” where folks run each other over so little Joey gets a TV or little Sarah gets the doll everyone will have in a month anyway. No, retail when I grew up was a truly wonderful experience where folks were happy to be out shopping Thanksgiving weekend. I recall families strolling downtown (and even in malls before they all went insane) to see the newly revealed store windows on Black Friday. Yes, Black Friday, named so because typically retailers operated in red ledger ink until those magic four of five weekends before Christmas put them into the black ink called profit so they could do it all again next year.

But what I really enjoyed during those times were the relationships. Customers of the stores I worked at all knew the owners of the stores along with the staff. It was a kinder way to shop for your loved ones. When the wife of a client (I worked mainly in men’s clothing stores) came in, I knew what her husband liked from taking care of him over the years. No one worried about special deals. No one was banging down the door at 2 a.m. And certainly no one was fighting over the last sweater or sports coat because we’d simply go get it elsewhere. It was a personal relationship.

That’s why I’m thankful for the clients and readers I have today with the Business Times. If I’ve learned anything in my nearly three scores on this planet it’s this: People like to do business with people they know, they like and they trust. In the one score I’ve lived in Grand Junction, I’m thankful I’ve been able to build a business and product people turn to learn more about the great businesses and businesspeople in our Grand Valley. I’m even more thankful — and truly humbled — for those who choose to spend their hard-earned dollars advertising. Even more important than my favorite holiday and birthday, this season is also my “black ink” time for the paper, as half or more of my clients renew for the coming year. But the most thankful part for me? I get to renew my relationships with so many friends who’ve supported the paper over the years.

When I call on my clients, we’ll eventually get around to talking about advertising. But we’ll spend much more time catching up on personal things. Most of these folks have been advertising with the paper since before I arrived on the shores of River City. I’ve watched their businesses and families grow, and they’ve watched mine. They’ll ask about my dad and were there when mom passed. I’ll ask about their kids in college or getting married or how cool is it to be a grandparent. They’ll compliment me on my daughters and how they’ve grown. We’ll talk about the things that matter to our businesses and our lives. And whether they renew or not, they’ll thank me for what I do.

And I couldn’t be more thankful for that.