News of the Week: Old News, Black Friday Blues, and Would You Watch Hallmark Movies for $2,500?

In the news for the week ending November 24, 2023, are Thanksgiving leftovers, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and lots and lots of Hallmark moves.

Cover by Stevan Dohanos from the December 13, 1952, issue of the Post (©SEPS)

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This Just In…

The American Farm Bureau Federation says the price of stuffing is down 2.8 percent. So I guess everyone can stuff their turkey this year.

The “some food prices are up, some are down!” story is just one of the holiday stories I’ve gotten sick of hearing about on the local and national news (as if people would resort to stuffing their turkey with rocks if they had to pay a little bit more for stuffing). There are also the stories that tell us “the day before Thanksgiving will be busy on the roads!”


Today suggests that if Brussels sprouts are too expensive, just substitute with green beans! Why, because they’re both green? (I don’t think Today understands how food preferences work.)

And what’s with the daily gas price updates on the news? The price for a gallon was $2.32 last week but this week it’s $2.41? “Sorry Aunt Sara. The price of gas went up 9 cents so we won’t be coming for Thanksgiving after all.”

Tryptophan makes you sleepy! (Actually, it doesn’t.) The day before Thanksgiving is a big travel day! (Duh.) Black Friday is the best day for deals! (See below.)

Year after year after year with these stories. They’re the fall/winter equivalent of the “make sure you wear sunscreen!” and “wear long sleeves so mosquitoes won’t bite you!” stories we see during the summer.

By the way, Brussels sprouts apparently taste better these days. Well, they certainly couldn’t taste any worse.

Is Black Friday Still a Big Deal?

I haven’t heard as many stories the past few years about people getting into fights in stores on Black Friday. What is the day for if not crowds of unreasonable people punching each other over the last toaster on the shelf? Is that because people are more civilized now or is Black Friday not such a big thing anymore?

This is only anecdotal, but it doesn’t seem to me that people are as excited about Black Friday as they used to be. Oh, sure, people will still head out on Friday looking for the best deals and they’ll get coupons in their email inbox, but they’re not lining up at midnight in the same numbers they used to.

Another reason it’s not as special anymore is because stores have made it that way. The entire month is now called “Black November,” and every place has sales all the time (this has always been the case, which is why Black Friday has never really been a big deal for people who keep their eyes and ears open the 364 other days of the year). I swear I saw Black Friday commercials in October.

Black Friday is also Buy Nothing Day, if you want to be a rebel.

The 98-Year-Old Social Media Star

Once in a great while there’s a story that makes you say, “hey, maybe there is something worth seeing on social media.” Dorothy Wiggins loves New York City, and she has become an unlikely social media icon (even if she isn’t thrilled with social media and smartphones).

Watch Movies, Get Paid

If you love Hallmark Christmas movies, have I got the dream job for you.

Christmas TV

Some Hallmark Christmas movies aired in the heat of July, which seems rather pointless and cruel to me.

But the normal holiday TV schedule starts right about…now. If you want to see when Rudolph will save the day or when Santa will come to town or when Frosty the Snowman will melt and die, head on over to Christmas TV Schedule or Mostly Christmas for a complete guide to when everything will air.

If your taste runs more to classic films like Christmas in Connecticut and Holiday Affair, check out the schedule for Turner Classic Movies. For classic TV episodes, here’s Me-TV’s schedule.

RIP Rosalynn Carter, A.S. Byatt, Joss Ackland, Ken Squier, Roger Kastel, George Brown, Suzanne Shepherd, and Tim Woodward

Rosalynn Carter was married to Jimmy Carter for 77 years and was a major force behind his campaign for president. She was also an advocate for mental health and helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity. She died Sunday at the age of 96.

A.S. Byatt was the acclaimed author, critic, and poet known for such novels as Possession and The Children’s Book. She died last week at the age of 87.

You remember Joss Ackland as the bad guy in Lethal Weapon 2. He also appeared in White MischiefThe Hunt for Red OctoberThe Mighty Ducks, and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, as well as many TV shows and plays. He died Sunday at the age of 95.

Ken Squier was the veteran voice of CBS NASCAR broadcasts for many years. He died last week at the age of 88.

Roger Kastel was an artist who did the posters for Jaws and The Empire Strikes Back. He died earlier this month at the age of 92.

George Brown was the drummer for Kool & the Gang, known for such hits as “Celebration,” “Too Hot,” and “Ladies’ Night.” He died last week at the age of 74.

Suzanne Shepherd played Carmela’s mother on The Sopranos. She also appeared in films like GoodfellasJacob’s Ladder, and Trees Lounge. She died last week at the age of 89.

Tim Woodward appeared in such British shows as Wings and Piece of Cake and American shows like The Equalizer (he was the son of star Edward Woodward). He was also in many movies. He died last week at the age of 70.

This Week in History

A Christmas Story Released (November 18, 1983)

To make you feel old, it’s the 40th anniversary of the movie TNT and TBS show for 24 hours straight every December 24.

President Kennedy Assassinated (November 22, 1963)

CBS has an interesting story on one of the cameras that played an important role in their TV coverage of the assassination.

This Month in Saturday Evening Post History: “Freedom from Want for Waltons” (November 1973)

Hey kids, stop looking at the artist and move some stuff so I can put this turkey down!


I don’t have any leftovers yet. I’m having Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. But when I do, maybe I’ll make one of these.

Family Favorite Recipes has a Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole, while The Pioneer Woman has this Pumpkin Mac and Cheese and Cranberry Scones. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has The Best Leftover Turkey Soup, Food Network has Leftover Thanksgiving NachosBon Appétit has Stuffing Fried Rice, and the New York Times has a Shepherd’s Pie.

And of course, the ultimate thing to make with leftovers is the Moist Maker Sandwich from Friends.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Small Business Saturday (November 25)

Okay, if you must buy something this weekend try to do it at a local shop or other small business.

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting (November 29)

The 91st annual event will air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET, with some local stations having an additional hour starting at 7.

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