Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Loss Of The Sunday Family Get Together

I can't remember if I have shared this lament at all, but if so, get ready for another round of the loss of  a component of strong families.
The Sunday family get-together.
Growing up in the 1970s was very trying in so many ways. Ugly fashions, big hair, the continuing breakdown of what we now call today, traditional values.
There are two of those values that have changed are what we call with disdain the "blue laws" and the family get-together.
The "blue laws" basically limited business and or business hours primarily on Sundays. Because of the federal, decentralized nature of our republic, most "blue laws" were left to the states to decide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_laws_in_the_United_States, it is amazing to see how many are still in force in the United States. In most states, it certainly involves alcohol sales. California did not make the list because the only thing is that all liquor sales are prohibited between 2:00am and 6:00am. And while almost all "blue laws" were more or less religious in nature, the U. S. supreme court has upheld them on several occasions. And regrettably many of the strictest laws were eliminated during the 1970s. And in some states there are movements to try to rescind others. The reality is that we need more, not less.
I will explain why later.
But what does it have to do with the Sunday family get together?
Having stores open with basically unlimited hours and other non-essential business is making Sunday just another day. For many people, it is not a day off but a work day. And for the families, club sports have made a big change in the family dynamic. By club sports I mean like AYSO, baseball, basketball. Anything not played at a school level. And because most households have mom and dad working, it makes it harder to carve a big chunk of a day like a Sunday to simply be together as a family.
The loosening of the "blue laws" directly relates to this trend.
Does anyone remember the term "Banker's hours"? That is when banks did not have ATM machines, were only open Monday thru Friday and the hours were 9:00am to 3:00pm and 9:00am to 6:00pm on Fridays. Now some banks are even open on Sunday.
I get the reality that we do live in a global economy. I know that people have very busy lives. But why can't we take a stand now for restoring that day in our lives?
What I remember is that while there was little religion in my home growing up, there were those Sundays. Sundays in which we would all be together and maybe go to the park, the beach, and maybe one of those rare stores that was open 12:00noon to 6:00pm. It was not a time for getting together with friends so much because we were all doing the same thing. It was a time to talk about school and or the other events of the week. And dinner no matter what was always together.
But as the 1970s moved into the 1980s and I entered high school, my mother went to work and that changed and not for the better. But the value of making time on Sunday went on when I married and we made Sunday night a for sure family dinner night. If possible we all tried to spend time together throughout the day. But our son worked limited hours in high school as a lifeguard for the local YMCA.
What the "blue laws" did good was really force families to go to church. Then maybe brunch at home. Have some fun time after brunch. And a Sunday family dinner.
That is just not possible in today's world to many people.
I suppose that the Thanksgiving kerfuffle over stores opening on Thanksgiving night prompted my thinking about this. But it was this past Easter Sunday that really opened my eyes.
Mrs. RVFTLC and I were going to Easter Brunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Pasadena. We were walking from our parking stall to the restaurant and passed by Macy's. It was closed I told Mrs. RVFTLC. She could not believe it. But after brunch as we were going back to our car, we saw people leaving Pottery Barn for Kids and yes, they were open.
And hold on to your hats, but the anti-capitalist came out of me and I lamented that they could close for one day. Why was Pottery Barn for Kids, a SWLPL* establishment if there ever was one, open but not the behemoth Macy's? It made no sense to me.
Last night I was engaged in a long Facebook conversation that prompted lively discussion. It made me realize how shallow our society has become that people can't get that family time is most important. Really, most people can wait til noon to shop at Target. Or any store for that matter one day a week.
I would love to see a movement to having some kind of moderate "blue law" restoration. Something that yes, makes families have to spend time together. It will not solve all of the problems that modern families have, but it could be a way for some to connect and reconnect.
I do lament the loss of the Sunday Family get together and hope that this makes people think about making a positive change to bring some of it back.

*SWLPL-Stuff White Liberal People Like

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