Growing up, Thanksgiving was my second best holiday. It was my Mamma’s best meal all year and there was extra dessert. Oh yeah.
Thanksgiving was a wrap: wake up, eat breakfast, snack until dinner was served at 2 p.m., eat dessert, rest, watch TV, eat cookies, decorate the tree and once it was up then go to bed in a food-drunken stupor. It was a simple holiday. It was a holiday for food, family and gratitude as the name Thanksgiving suggests.
The idea of getting up right after a day of eating nonstop just to go shopping was not introduced to American shoppers until sometime in the 2000s. Even then, a few corporate retailers opened their doors to shoppers at 6 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.
I didn’t know anyone who was willing to get up that early just to save money on Christmas presents, so it came as a complete shock when national news reported people rushing the doors and trampling other humans in order to save money.
I agree that shopping is a form of cardio, but a holiday is not. If you can’t sleep in and lounge around in your pajamas at home all day, then it’s not a holiday. How many people have to call in sick so they can get up in the middle of the night to go holiday shopping?
In 2011, retailers chose to welcome shoppers at midnight. I was there for that. Does anyone know what 50 young females screaming at the opening of Victoria’s Secret at midnight in an otherwise empty mall sounds like? It’s why I’ve not participated in Black Friday since.
Now, this year, Target got the idea to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. That is rude. It seems that people have to change their Thanksgiving eating habits just so they don’t fall into the food coma that Thanksgiving is supposed to induce so they can go spend money. It’s ridiculous.
The reason people still support corporations’ bottom lines the day after Thanksgiving (until this year) is they are led to believe they will save a lot of money. The Wall Street Journal exposed that myth for what it is in its article “The Myth of the Black Friday Deal.” The reality of Black Friday is that retailers schedule discounts so they can make money while making money on Black Friday.
Black Friday is like all the other bad things that happened in the 2000s: a Republican president, housing market bubbles bursting, an economic depression and a war, to list a few.
If I ruled the world, there wouldn’t be a Black Friday — I would make it Shopping Monday. As a matter of fact, there wouldn’t be even a hint of Christmas until the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was celebrated in England as a celebration of the harvest. These days, we should take it more seriously. We have a lot to be thankful for as a nation, as family and friends, and as individuals.
Give Thanksgiving your full attention. The merchandise will still be on the shelves Saturday and Sunday.