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Friday, October 24, 2014

I Pledge to Not Shop on Thanksgiving


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
Costco
Nordstrom
Publix
Pier 1 Imports
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
BJ's Wholesale Club
Gordmans
Crate and Barrel
T.J.Maxx
Marshall's
Sierra Trading PostDillard's
HomeGoods
Barnes & Noble
Publix
Burlington Coat Factory
American Girl
REI

And by NOT shopping at retailers who are open on Thanksgiving:

Walmart
Target
Sears
Toys ''R'' Us
Best Buy
Macy's
Big Lots
Shoe Carnival
Kmart
Michaels Stores

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! :)

15 comments:

  1. AMEN!!! I hate Black Friday....or Black Thursday now!!

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  2. Yes yes yes.

    The term Black Thursday makes me rage. Great post!

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  3. I still do not understand why you have such a problem with this. Will you also not allow out of town family to stay at a hotel because doing so will cause hotel clerks to have to work? Will you also not be turning your television on? You know, by doing so you contribute to the employees having to work. You contribute to your local power companies employees having to work on that day by using electricity or your local gas companies employees having to work by using natural gas. You can't have it both ways. If you are so dead set against people working on a holiday because they will not be with their families, then do not contribute to any company that has people working on that day. This will include not being able to call a doctor if someone gets sick, not a calling the police if there is any trouble, not calling the fire department is there is a fire, not watching that great football game, not listening to music on the radio, not cooking your dinner with the convenience of modern appliances.

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    Replies
    1. Need versus Greed. Some people must work to provide stability of society, but there is no such compelling reason for retail to rob millions of Americans of a family-oriented holiday with compulsory scheduling just to serve corporate lusts for profit. I'm a CNA working at a nursing home. I don't expect holidays off. But I'm not going to willingly deprive someone else that doesn't have the same compelling reason to provide a service as I do.

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    2. GO BACK TO PARTY CITY WHERE YOU BELONG.

      Goodbye.

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    3. I agree with Myan. I shared on FB and I will now add as an addendum to this post that there is a difference between people who actually HAVE to work on holidays. Military/police, healthcare workers, systems/infrastructure workers, etc. These people have to work to maintain life and to keep people safe. As someone who has worked in emergency healthcare before I worked holidays and I understand the need for it because emergencies don't wait for normal business hours.

      I do not understand the voluntary choice to get an early start on your Christmas gift shopping (which is NOT necessary to sustain life and safety) at the cost of someone else's time. I'm talking specifically about retail shopping and not other systems and business that are required to be run and monitored 24/7.

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    4. Oh and, if you met my family, you would probably want them to stay at a hotel too. ;) Just kidding any family that reads this. Um...awk. :)

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    5. Like I said, YOU CAN NOT have your cake and eat it too. If you want to boycott retail, then you MUST boycott EVERY business or employer that requires it's employees to work on a Holiday, if not then your argument is mute. It makes no sense for you to sit here and say that it is OK for some to have to work but no others. What makes it ok for some to have the time off and not others? Pretty hypocritical if you ask me. By the way, I will lay my bottom dollar on the FACT that you go out looking for those not so great deals on Black Friday after just sitting at your table gorging yourself and being Thankful for all that you already have.

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    6. And just as a hypothetical situation.........you are sitting at the table on Thanksgiving, grandpa is carving the turkey and accidentally slices his hand open. You take him to the hospital and they take care of him and send him home with a prescription for antibiotics and pain meds. If retail and drug stores are closed, where are you going to get the prescriptions filled? I know the hospitals in my area do not fill prescriptions, they hand them to you to take to your pharmacy.

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    7. Okay Anonymous, here's my response. (By the way are you intentionally not leaving your name or are you just not sure how to work my comment box? I'd love to address you by name instead of just weirdly "Anonymous".)

      1. I do not believe that there is a Boycott Bible in print yet. If so, I'd love to read it! So there are no "rules" to boycotting. I can boycott whatever I want and not boycott whatever I don't feel should be boycotted. I'm boycotting the greedy consumeristic attitude that seems to have replaced the thankful attitude that the original Thanksgiving holiday was initiated to celebrate.

      2. Your question about pharmacies...hospitals in my area have pharmacies attached. If it's lifesaving enough to need immediately, then the hospital can dispense it.

      3. I absolutely abhor crowds of people. So I must refute your assumption that I will be out amongst the crowds on Black Friday. I have never and will never go shopping on Black Friday (besides online shopping) because I hate large crowds of people and everything that comes with it. (and that's not just shopping, I loathe concerts, festivals, professional sporting events and anything that draws large numbers). Also, me "gorging myself at my table"...is that a fat joke? :)

      Finally, I appreciate the witty back and forth, but I fear we will just agree to disagree and that's okay. We live in a country that allows us to have different opinions. If I offended you in this post, it wasn't intentional. It's just my own personal convictions.

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    8. 1. Not a fat joke, everybody gorges themselves on Thanksgiving.
      2. Not all hospitals have pharmacies attached, therefore an open pharmacy can be a life saver on a holiday.
      3. Boycotting the consumeristic attitude should translate over to cyber Monday also, the lazy mans way out of shopping.
      4. I am well aware of how to use a comment box, I am here aren't I? If you wanted to have people leave their names you should know how to the make anonymous option not an option to use.
      5. As far as the rest? If you choose not to shop that is fine, but why take money out of the pockets of people who want to work that day? I have worked retail for years and know many people who enjoy working on Thanksgiving day because there are not many crowds and they have an easy day at work. Maybe you should try it sometime before going off half cocked assuming everyone thinks as you do.

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    9. Thank you.

      Yes, I LOVE Cyber Monday. It IS the lazy man's way to shop and that's why I love it! :)

      I have worked many Thanksgivings both in retail and in the healthcare industry and I did not enjoy it. I am not one of those people that enjoys working that day because I would rather be at home with my friends and family.

      Lastly, I do not assume everyone thinks as I do or should think as I do. I just share my own thoughts and opinions on my blog...or my virtual space. If you don't agree with my opinions, that's fine. I would imagine we probably disagree on a number of other things that I don't talk about here on my blog (politics, social policies, etc.) and that's okay! If someone agrees with me, cool. If not, cool. And thank you for being a reader...or at least reading this post and sharing your opinion.

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    10. And it's MY personal opinion that replying to someone's thought out blog post with nasty jabs is unnecessary. To share your opposing opinion is one thing, but to intentionally try and put another down in condescending fashion is an entirely different story.

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Comments make me SO happy! Go ahead...make my day. ;)

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