The Great Gobble Squabble: Should Stores Be Open on Thanksgiving Day?
It's been happening for years now: Black Friday is slowly seeping into Thanksgiving Day. Maybe it's just me, maybe I am the crazy one, but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Why do we need to 'shop 'til we drop' on Thanksgiving Day?
I've never been much of a Black Friday shopper. The "official" start of the holiday shopping season began when major retailers opened their doors for bargain-seekers bright and early at 6 a.m. I hate getting up early, and I hate big crowds, so I always passed on the Black Friday madness-- every year the CRAY CRAY factor is turned up a notch.
First it was the 6 a.m. sales, then the 3 a.m. sales, then stores began opening at midnight. You'd think that would be early enough for any shopper, but NOPE. Major retailers started trying to one-up another and be the first to open their doors, which meant stores started their Black Friday sales... on Thanksgiving Day.
I'm all about saving money whenever I can, so I understand the appeal of a sweet, sweet Black Friday deal, but I'm sorry, y'all. I am not shopping on Thanksgiving Day.
I refuse to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day.
I don't care what's on sale. I don't care what freebies are offered. I will not start my holiday shopping on Thanksgiving. IT CAN WAIT ONE DAY.
What I find most upsetting about Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day is this: those blockbuster deals are busting up someone's holiday. In order for retailers to be open on Thanksgiving Day, they need employees. And those employees are real people--just like you--who are giving up a chance to eat grandma's famous pecan pie and watch football with dad so you can get a TV for 50% off.
That's not a fair deal.
You can try to argue with me and say that those employees get holiday pay or some other incentive, but I am having none of it. NONE OF IT. In most cases, employees at major retailers aren't making much more than minimum wage. They're not getting fat stacks of cash. They are regular people who are trying to make ends meet, and now they don't get Thanksgiving.
But Meg, you protest, you're making this waaaay more maudlin than it actually is. I'm not. I'm really not. I worked at a major retailer when I was in college, and I was scheduled to work Thanksgiving Day. We were told that if we called in sick or didn't show for our holiday shifts, we would be fired. No one wanted to work on the holiday, so it's not like we could trade shifts with anyone else. I ended up working Thanksgiving Day, and it was terrible. Every time I see an ad for a store advertising its Thanksgiving sales, I think about eating a ham sandwich in my apartment. ALONE.
Maybe I am being a tad dramatic here, but come on. The whole point of Thanksgiving is to gather with family, friends, and loved ones and GIVE THANKS. It's about taking time out of our hectic schedules, making time for family, and thinking about how fortunate we are to have the things we have and live the lives we lead.
That's why Black Friday has always baffled me-- we take a day to count our blessings and acknowledge that there are things in life more important than material objects and as soon as our meal has settled, we forget all about it and head out to BUY ALL THE THINGS.
If you want to shop on Black Friday, go for it. But if you ask me, Black Friday needs to stay ON FRIDAY. Some states have outlawed Black Friday on Thanksgiving; I think it's a step in the right direction.
What do you think? Will you go shopping on Thanksgiving Day or are you content to spend the holiday at home before heading out on Black Friday? Share your thoughts in the comments below.