Taking the ‘Thanks’ out of Thanksgiving

So, now that Thanksgiving has been out of our minds for two weeks and Christmas is two weeks away, let’s take a step back, shall we? Black Friday. It’s a topic that many of us think about every year during the Thanksgiving season, and it always sparks a great debate. Around this time, I’ll see posts from my Facebook friends about how “if you camp outside for a deal on a cell phone, it’s called being a good consumer. But, if you camp outside for your rights, you’re a dirty hippy.” I also see posts that say, “I won’t shop on Thanksgiving! Share if you won’t either!” These days, I see fewer and fewer people posting about their Black Friday shopping experience and more and more people in the opposition.

Personally, I hate Black Friday. Hell, I hate the fact that stores, restaurants, gas stations, ect. are open on Sundays! We don’t give people a break anymore. Years and years ago, everything was closed on Sundays to give people at least one day to catch up on life. Now, if you’re not open for at least 12 hours a day seven days a week, consumers start to bitch and they think there is something wrong with you. “Don’t they want to make money?” “Why are they closed when their competition is open?”

Our society has become more concerned with getting the next best thing and making more money than we know what to do with rather than spending time with our family members, reading a book, playing a card game, and taking things back to a “simpler time.”

However, in some ways, it makes sense. Take it from me; I was fired from my full-time job almost a full year ago. I was making $48,000 a year. I had health insurance, too many vacation days to know what to do with, dental, vision; everything I ever wanted! Fast forward to today and I work 15 hours a week (if I’m lucky) at a job where I make $8 an hour. I have no benefits, no vacation days, no insurance, nothing. For me, finding the best deals, and saving what money I make is essential. I had hopes and dreams before I lost my job of moving out of my parent’s house, getting my own place, adopting a dog, helping my significant other pay for every day expenses. Now, I look forward to that check so that I can pay for gas and a meal at a restaurant.

So, as consumers, in an economy where things might not be looking up just yet, is Black Friday really a bad idea? Is being open on Sundays to make more business essential? Can we ever go back to just saying what we’re thankful for on Thanksgiving instead of hitting the mall? Only time will tell.

Granny Smith – over and out

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14 thoughts on “Taking the ‘Thanks’ out of Thanksgiving

  1. Black Friday pulls out all the tricks to get people to enter their stores… mostly because I think more and more people prefer to shop online. And use stores as “showcases” to see the product they will buy online. I’m hopeful that Black Friday shopping will continue to decline and become obsolete. I guess I think technology has a direct effect on consumerism… and therefore society. Thanksgiving should be a time to put down our phones and shopping lists and just share time together. Sorry for my long note… your post just made me think about things.

  2. Although I admit that it was many years ago now, I lived in France for over a year at one point in my life. Over there (at the time) everything was closed on Sundays by law, and I mean EVERYTHING (except a couple of “officially sanctioned” boulangeries – you can’t eat day-old bread). Not only that, but almost everything except restaurants closed at 5PM during the week, including department stores and malls – and the restaurants didn’t open until 8PM.

    In some ways it was pleasant to be “forced to relax”, but it did make it quite challenging to do life’s little BS stuff in the short time that was available on Saturdays. It made me wonder how businesses could stay in business if they were closed whenever their customers were actually available, but my conclusion was that this was a holdover from the days when every family had someone who worked and someone who “managed the home” and could deal with retail shopping in the middle of the weekday. Perhaps the French have now been Americanized – although I’m not convinced that this would be an entirely Good Thing either.

  3. I remember being a kid – the holiday season was really about peace, love, and happiness. Maybe it was the naivety of my youth, or perhaps it really was different “way back then”. Because nowadays, instead of peace, it feels like chaos. Instead of love, it feels like anger (at the most trivial things). And instead of happiness, it feels like despair at all that needs to be done. I think it would be therapeutic for all of us to take a collective breath and appreciate this time of year for what it should be and what it seemed like it used to be – peace, love, and happiness. Thanks for sharing and best wishes for an inspired day 😉

  4. I think it depends. For those who get paid as you come to work then have more business operating days help keep the same in come. If everyone does not go out to buy or eat then those will not get paid for those closing days.

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