Thanksbuying Day Thoughts

I find it appalling that stores are now opening on Thanksgiving day.  Why are they doing this?

We do need some businesses in operation on Thanksgiving.  Fire stations and emergency medical clinics need to be staffed. I understand why restaurants would be open.

But general retail?  Why?  Why don’t they announce that big sale the day before Thanksgiving, and then close on Thanksgiving day and give their workers the break they deserve?  Why does the cashier and salesperson have to get up from their meals, or leave before the meal is served and rush out to help us buy things?

The things will be the same things regardless of the day on which they are purchased.  The profit margin on the things will be the same whether you put them on sale the Sunday before Thanksgiving or the day after.  There is no earthly reason why retail must create this shopping frenzy on a day that was once reserved for families to share a meal and be thankful for their blessings.

Every year on ‘black Friday’ people are injured in the rush to get into the stores.  Every year we have reports of violence as people compete in the ‘Hunger Games’ of retail to get one of the 3 ridiculously low-priced game systems or TVs or designer whatever that are the ‘loss leader’ bait to lure the shoppers into a store.

It was bad enough when shoppers were camping out to be the first into the store on black Friday. Do you think that people will forego Thanksgiving entirely now to camp out in front of the store on Thursday?  I do.

I will not be there.  For years now, I have observed Buy Nothing day on black Friday.  Strange to say, I have never regretted it, never felt that I ‘lost out’ by not being part of the mass surging into the store.  I do know that some families enjoy it as a wild, exciting shopping trip the day after Thanksgiving.  And on Black Friday, I do feel that is up to you.

But Thanksgiving Day?  Our peculiarly American national holiday, one of the few that didn’t get moved to a Monday?  No.  Just no.

When you rush out to get bargains on Thanksgiving, there is a bigger cost that outweighs whatever consumers may think they are saving.  You may be getting bargains.  You may be the one to get the hugely discounted game system.  But the bargains we are getting have cost every working person in that store the opportunity to have a relaxed time with their families.

I don’t think any of us can afford that.

This will spread like a disease.  If the mall retail stores are open, will the coffee shops stay closed?  The ice cream store?  The shoe stores?  Of course not.

Soon Thanksgiving Day will be just another work day for the retail worker.  I have been that ’35 hour a week so we don’t have to pay health insurance or unemployment insurance’ worker.  I’ve been the restaurant worker who made more from her tips than from her paycheck.

Don’t reward the stores for doing this.  Stay home.  Surprise them.

One Response to Thanksbuying Day Thoughts

  1. Well said.  I’ve never chosen to join the mob for black Friday shopping, but I love the idea of a formal shopping blackout.

    It’s sad and frustrating to see how retailers are continuing their gradual takeover of family holiday time.  I hate to say it, but I fear Christmas is just a few short years away from falling under the greedy pressure of the retailer’s bottom line.  Black Christmas???  *shudders*