Today on Yahoo Finance there’s an interesting article about how some stores are moving their black Friday sales to midnight on Thanksgiving day. When I first heard this news, I bristled a bit. I’ve already shared with you my unhappiness over stores setting up holiday displays in October. And can I tell you I heard Frosty The Snowman on the radio the day of Halloween? But I draw the line with stores trying to push me out the door to get in line to shop while the pumpkin pie is still waiting to be cut. Even us deal hunters have our limits.
Every year I enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my family. We eat, chat, enjoy each other’s company and just relax. Much later that night, I drive to the store with the best deals (usually Walmart) and I get in line around midnight for a 6:00am opening. This is already a nutty proposition. I mean, I live in New England after all. It’s pretty dang cold standing outside over night, but I do this because I want to get the most bang for my holiday buck. However, I’m not leaving my holiday dinner to save a few dollars on a television set. You know what I mean?
And now that they are opening many stores at midnight on Thanksgiving, that means people will have to leave their houses by 6:00pm in order to line up to get the deals. We usually start eating dinner around that time! What person is going to slave away on a lavish meal all day long, throw dinner on the table, and grab her purse and head out the door? Is that what they want us to do?
Let’s not forget about the workers that have to give up their own holiday meals. Sure, there’s the extra pay, but I bet most of them would rather enjoy the holidays with their own families. When the corporate types stand at that press conference microphone in their shirt and tie, telling us that the employees appreciate the extra holiday pay, I want to puke.
Here’s some guy making $300,000+ a year telling me that he’s actually doing the employee a favor by opening the store on a holiday? Baloney. I don’t buy it. I bet that same guy will spend the whole Thanksgiving day and evening with his own family chomping on a turkey leg while his hourly workers head to the store to deal with the holiday masses. Some favor, right?
I think the thing that gets to me the most is the underlying problem. Christmas has become so commercial that it’s the only message anymore. I know it sounds cliche to “remember the reason for the season”, but it’s so much more than that. We’ve become a society of stuff. We spend so much time focusing on shopping and getting more stuff that we are losing perspective on the simpler things. And before you think I’m getting preachy on you, I’m just as guilty.
I also think that the retailers are playing us. The early displays, the piped in holiday music, the push for earlier holiday sales… it’s all a manipulation. I think they are creating a frenzy for the sake of making a buck at the expense of our holiday traditions. And this quite frankly makes me not want to shop in their stores.
So, for me and my family, we just say no to shopping on the holiday. No standing outside with a throng of people. No clutching my Dunkie’s coffee cup trying to stay warm. And most importantly, not spending money at stores whose executives think that it’s a good “opportunity” for their employees to work on a holiday.
What say you? Are you for or against shopping on Thanksgiving day? Those of you who participate in this reader debate by commenting on this post will be entered into a drawing for an envelope of free product coupons (ARV $30). To enter, leave your first name, last initial, the state you are from and your comment. Entries must be received by Friday, November 18th 11:59pm ET.