A blog friend wrote a great post this week about shopping on what is now being dubbed as "Black Thursday". I'm taking excerpts from her original post and adding some of my own thoughts in today's post. :)
First of all, I will cut whoever invented the name "Black Thursday". No. Just no. It's Thanksgiving. Not Black Thursday. That irks me to no end because it's completely removing the meaning/spirit behind the holiday that symbolizes thankfulness, family and humility and replacing it with a consumeristic term that is equated with greed, materialism and anxiety.
It's been a going trend over the last few years for stores to open earlier and earlier for "Black Friday" which is now just being open on Thanksgiving. This is so not cool. Why? Because Thanksgiving is a holiday meant to be celebrated with friends and family. It's a day to rest, relax and refresh...AND...stuff yourself with food. But if you're shopping on Thanksgiving, that means someone is working on Thanksgiving. Someone is not able to spend time with their loved ones because they are ringing up your blu-ray player that you are buying for $20 or those boots that you just HAD to have.
I whole-heartedly agree with Steph on this:
I like shopping as much as the next person. And I love love love a good deal. Do I need the good deal so badly that I'd sacrifice my lazy Thanksgiving night in my pajamas with my family? Not on your life. Even in years when money was tight, I wouldn't consider it - because time with my people is worth more than a material gift. As for those crazy must have kid gifts, they'll live if they don't get it - I did and you did too. I'm sure they'd rather have the memory of a full relaxing day and night with their parents than the gift they'll forget by the time they're 18. And if you're going out after they're in bed, that doesn't mean the lady ringing you up at Toys R Us isn't missing out on a night home with her older kids who are still up.
What's wrong with us as a society? We need to stop being consumers first and humans second. If none of us showed up at the stores, they'd stop opening on Thanksgiving and taking people away from their families.
I know people that work in retail. And I know that for a lot of them, Thanksgiving isn't a special day. It's actually a day that people in retail dread because it brings out droves of people demanding things, pushing and acting anything other than "thankful". And even though people in retail have come to expect to have to work on Thanksgiving now, it wasn't always like this. I can remember the first year that a mall decided to open at 5 am on Black Friday for specials. That was a big deal. Now? Retailers start their "Black Friday Specials" at 3 pm on Thanksgiving. When is it going to stop?
The answer is, it won't. It won't unless we, as consumers, decide to take action. As Steph says...
Vote with your wallet! Stay home on Thanksgiving and enjoy your family and some late night turkey to fortify yourself for the Black Friday shopping you may or may not do. Start shopping now to spread out your spending so you don't need to be out on Thanksgiving doing it. If you need an activity or are alone that night, visit friends, take a walk, binge watch a show you've been wanting to see, or consider volunteering to help those in need. I'd rather vacuum my furniture to give me something to do over going to a store where my presence takes someone away from their family and friends. "So I want to go shopping, so what?" So stop thinking of only yourself.
What's an easy way to vote with your wallet? By shopping at these retailers who have taken a stand against opening on Thanksgiving. (source)
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse
Pier 1 Imports
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
BJ's Wholesale Club
Crate and Barrel
Sierra Trading PostDillard's
Barnes & Noble
Burlington Coat Factory
And by NOT shopping at retailers who are open on Thanksgiving:
Toys ''R'' Us
I can't think of a better way to close this post than with this quote from Time.com...
Black Thursday is a loser for everyone. Retailers say it dilutes the actual shopping weekend around Black Friday, "cannibalizing" sales that would already take place later in the shopping season. It ruins the holidays for store employees an...d it enables Americans to forget those things they're thankful for and instead lust for material items.ADDENDUM:
I put these comments on FB when I posted this link and felt they also needed to be included with the post for those who are just now reading. Edited to make sense to this post and so as not to appear in response to a comment. (which it originally was)
I understand that working on holidays isn't just limited to retail workers...and some people working on Thanksgiving or any holiday is simply unavoidable. (Healthcare workers, systems/infrastructure employees, military/police, etc.) These people must work to keep things running and to keep people safe. BUT retail shopping is completely unnecessary and avoidable. If there wasn't a demand for a store to open, they wouldn't open. The same with restaurants. Not necessary to sustain life! I realize that my not shopping alone has zero impact on this trend, but I would hope that others who feel the same way might choose to do the same.
I'm not trying to start a grassroots movement here...just sharing my own thoughts for why I will be at home in my yoga pants all day Thursday! :)