When I think of Thanksgiving, I think about the "3 Fs" - food, family and fun. The fourth "F" is reserved for the next day, Friday, which is known best as Black Friday. Named so because it is the day when most retailers are able to get "out of the red" and back to "black" - profit wise. Most retailers do this by opening the store as early as 4am, sometimes earlier, for people to shop their stores for insane deals. I'm sure you all know someone who got a 40-inch flat screen television for $200 during a Black Friday shopping excursion - that's what the day is all about. It is almost a part of Thanksgiving and people have gotten used to associating the two.
Apparently some retailers got tired of just "associating" the two days with each other and will now be offering a "Black Thursday" day of shopping.
To this I say - Fuck You!
Honestly, have we gotten to a point where consumerism has taken over time that we would normally be spending with our families? I recently moved out of the house where I grew up and I seldom see my immediate family members. Thanksgiving is a day where I plan on spending the entire day with them. I want to hear the stories that I missed, the funny things that happened this week. I want to watch a random movie with my sister on Thursday after we eat turkey. I may even go to a party that night with a few friends or family members that I haven't seen all year. Now I'm supposed to cut that short to go buy a TV?
The messed up part about this is that I honestly can't tell if this is the fault of the stores being greedy and trying to make up for a slow year, or is this the cause of a higher demand of deals, saving and just all around shopping. Are we to blame for "Black Thursday?" It's possible, but the sad part is that regardless of who is to "blame," there will be people driving out in droves to get a good deal on things they probably don't even need.
This is not an attack on shopping. I love to shop. This is an attack on the attack of time spent with the family.
I know it's one day, but to many, this one day is the best time to just get back to basics and hang out with the people who matter the most. To other people, spending time with your family for hours on end is a nightmare and I totally get it, but those people probably still recognize it as a necessary evil and will do it anyway, because it's Thanksgiving for God sakes.
Although it is not technically considered a National Holiday, it is widely revered as such and it's unfortunate that these stores would have their employees away from their friends and families in order to get a few more dollars.
Stores like Walmart, Target, K-Mart and Sears have all jumped on the Black Thursday bandwagon and not even the shareholders,who stand to gain from the additional day, are happy.
“I bought stock in Target because I was so impressed by the respect and concern they showed their employees and the communities where their stores are located, wrote shareholder Jill Larson, of Minnesota. “I am disappointed to hear about this decision.”*
The disappointment trickles down all the way from the top to the customer who would rather spend their downtime relaxing on Thanksgiving and shopping the day after. Maybe the crowds won't be as severe on Friday because of this. Maybe we will hear about less people being trampled because of crowds of people pushing to get into a store. One thing is for certain - if you really want to preserve the family dynamic during the holidays, save your shopping until Friday and if you are scheduled to work on Thursday and it won't get you into too much trouble then call out. Life is way too short to spend it in the electronics section at Target while your turkey gets cold at home.
*Quote Via: Market Watch