Monday, November 25, 2013

Go Away Black Friday and Leave Thanksgiving ALONE!

Can we talk about Thanksgiving and Black Friday and the fact that THE ONE NON-COMMERCIAL, NON-RUINED BY SOCIETY holiday we had left has now been high-jacked by the retail community and is no longer about friends, family, pausing to be grateful, and just enjoying each others company (and of course FOOTBALL) but just a day to quickly shovel in some sustenance before heading out to the stores to be trampled and perhaps killed for the latest and greatest in electronics?

Phew. I need to calm down. That first paragraph was one sentence, but I feel extremely strongly about this. Extremely is probably not strong enough of a word to describe how this pisses me off. I'm incensed. Furious. Disappointed in society. ANGRY. Sad. Melancholy for the “good old days”.

I'm in the mood to boycott any and all stores until spring. (Well, except my boys are growing like weeds and both need new wardrobes. If they stand still long enough, which they don't, they certainly SIT still long enough, but you can't really see someone growing when their quickly expanding feet are tucked under their legs or under a desk, and they're playing video games...but as I was saying before I interrupted myself – you can see them growing before your very eyes, much like aquaponic lettuce, but wow, I need to calm down because:
  1. This is starting to be a jumbled mess, and
  2. I was talking about Thanksgiving, not my boys...

Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year. We have a wonderful tradition of celebrating with a cousin on my mother-in-law's side and his entire family. I've know The Engineer's family for 29 Thanksgivings, and it's always been with those cousins. This makes for a table for around 20-25 depending on who has a date, or who is bringing a parent(s) from the other side of the family. Both hostesses love to set an ELABORATE table. I mean, Martha Stewart would take notes. Everyone brings a dish so the labor is divided, and you can always see the TV from the kitchen so you can football it all up and do dishes.

But now, it's all changing. Thanksgiving isn't about family and tradition and gratitude anymore. The ads for Black Friday (did you even know what that meant 7-8 years ago?) started weeks ago. There are pre-Black Friday specials. My mailbox, my inbox, my newspaper are STUFFED with ads.

Many of my friends work in retail and have to be at work as early as 2 pm to get ready for the pre-Black Friday early openings of so many major stores. 2 pm is about when we sit down for our meal. It's not right.

What are we doing people? We're slowly being convinced that being thankful, grateful, and focused on family isn't really that big of a deal. No, the big deal is to be had at the store. Get shopping! Buy something! No one has enough!

Thanks for listening this far. I'm thankful for you wonderful friends and the community we've built where we can discuss whatever we want. What do you think about this whole mess?


P.S Briane Pagel (you must read and follow him, truly) also wrote a piece about how Thanksgiving is disappearing, but for a different reason. (And his debunking of the Pilgrim story in quite a deliciously funny read). Go. Please.


Unknown said...

I understand your frustration. I myself used to be in retail, and despised working long hours at the Holidays. My wife now buys things online so we can spend family time together as a family.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What about all the stores that open for Black Friday on Thanksgiving? That is even worse.
If I do any shopping, it will be online. Actually, most of it's already done. And it all online.
Stay home and give thanks, people! Enjoy family, food, and potentially crappy football.

Andrew Leon said...

Yeah, I've known about Black Friday for... at least 15 years. I worked at Toys R Us back then, and Black Friday was already becoming the monster it is now. I do have to say that the best Black Friday shift (in my mind) was the one that started at 5am. The store would open at 6am, and you'd be on register straight through, and it would all be over before you realized it.

Other than when I worked at TRU, I have never participated in a Black Friday event. I wish I could blame the stores, but I can't. I just opt out.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I hate shopping to begin with and yah, there are women in my family that say my girl card should be revoked. Black Friday shopping? Not on your life. I had to work one when I worked for Kodak. ONE. The horror of it is still burned in my mind. Right along with the footprint on my forehead.

Here's how I look at it. We have no control over stuff like this. We do have control over how we celebrate any holiday. So, celebrate it with the emphasis you feel is important. I do agree, we should be giving thanks but then, we really don't need a holiday to do that do we? It's something we should do on a daily basis. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Rachel said...

I am not happy with it at all. My boyfriend has to go to work at 2 on Thanksgiving Day. Granted, we weren't going to do anything big this year for several reasons, but I wanted to spend the day with him. Some places just need to be closed on holidays, like stores.

Briane said...

I have to respectfully disagree.

BUT, I was going to post a brief comment and then a longer one and NOW I am out of time so I'll post a rebuttal on my blog hopefully soon? It'll be respectful, and all, but I not only don't mind people being open on Thanksgiving, I think people are looking at it all the wrong way.

Especially football fans. (OOOHHH Foreshadowing!) If you watch football on Thanksgiving, you can't complain about Wal-Mart being open. MORE ON THAT LATER.

Thanks for the shout-out!

shelly said...

I feel the same. I'm really pissed with corporate America. If they had i their way there would be no holidays whatsoever.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hugs and chocolate,

Andrea said...

I just keep trying to ignore it! So far, so good! ;) Enjoy your holiday!!!

JoJo said...

I agree with you completely. But I have heard of Black Friday since the 90s when I was in California. Stores opened at 7 AM back then...and over time it's gotten earlier and earlier. Every now and then I would go out on that Friday, but to the small shops and antique stores and mid morning.

Brian Miller said...

its really sad to see that some stores are opening at 7 am on thanksgiving and going to be open all day...keeping employees from their families...for a few extra dollars....

Annalisa Crawford said...

No it's not right, but if there weren't people going out to shop the shops wouldn't open. There needs to be some national boycotting.

I feel the same thing about the 'January sales' in the UK which now start on Boxing Day. One store has opened at 5am on Boxing Day for several years, and people queue to be the first in - which means people are leaving their house on Christmas evening to go and sit in the freezing cold!!!

Jo said...

Most people can ignore it, but if you are having to work the time, I agree, it spoils everything.

What gets me, we have Black Friday sales here and we don't have a Black Friday. That really pisses me off. Personally there is no way I would ever go shopping on Black Friday and if I did need anything, I too would be shopping on line.

As for Brian P. who is, I assume, going to point out that footballers are working, what about wives who have to cook and are not paid to do so and yet do a much more valuable job than kicking a ball around.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm right there with you. When I heard about stores opening up at 4 PM on Thanksgiving Day I almost hurled something through the radio. Seriously, people?

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

It's a sad state of affairs. In this all too hectic world, too many people are racing about and seeking out the bargains.

I know that a lot of folks feel forced to work on days that perhaps they too would like to be with their loved ones. In today's economy, many an employer may sanction and fire those who do not cooperate.

What say you compromise and have your Thanksgiving at the same time as Canada, eh? :)

Take care, Tina.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. it's dreadful that retail has been allowed to take hold at all - I'm sure we'd be happier without Sunday shopping, as we used to have in the UK. We don't do Black Friday - but sales, as Annalisa mentions in the UK after Christmas are pretty awful - but it's your choice if you go out on those days.

Also if you have a job in one of those sectors - perhaps you're lucky to have a job .. and therefore accept that 'work comes first' though it shouldn't.

It's like hotel work, care work, hospital work, police work, etc ... they have to work 24/7/365 ...

I totally agree .. it's horrific retail badgering - some people cow-tow (thought I'd better check! and it's kowtow!!) though and fall into the trap of thinking they're getting a bargain.

Looks like most of your readers hate shopping .. add me in!

I hope you can have a happy Thanksgiving thursday and enjoy the rest of the weekend in family harmony - even if you get a little rattled about boys' feet growing under the table!!!

Happy times .. cheers Hilary