Sunday, November 17, 2013

Boycott Black Thursday, or Kiss Thanksgiving Goodbye

I’m a guy who likes eating, watching football and taking naps, so it’s easy for me to say this, but having Black Friday start on Thanksgiving is an abomination.

Over the past decade, we’ve watched the slow creep as the shopping season began to threaten that other holiday -- the one where we all gather as families and give thanks. I wrote about it last year, when the shotgun start of year-end shopping encroached on Thanksgiving Day itself. Several national retail stores opened the evening of Thanksgiving, and after dinner at our gathering several family members scooted off to Kmart. 

Kmart!? You mean that crap hole with the cheap junk and dirty bathrooms that we hate to visit the rest of the year? Yes, that Kmart.

Photo taken November 11th at the mall.
Wonder if Santa is working on
Thanksgiving Day, too. 
At the time, many warned that last year's Black Friday infringement was just the beginning, including me. Now, they can all say, I told you so.  

This year, the full assault is on. Loads of stores are going to be open all day, starting at 6 a.m., forcing retail workers to give up their family traditions to keep their paychecks, and drawing shoppers away from their families throughout the day.

It makes me pine for the days when stores didn’t open until 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday; Opening stores on thanksgiving is unAmerican. There, I said it. I pulled out the old unAmerican card.  I've never played that one before. It felt kind of good.

As Americans, it’s time for all of us to speak up. And there’s only one way to do it. (Actually two ways).

First, we should all boycott the Thanksgiving shopping spree. Then on Friday, and for the rest of the month, we should only shop at stores that were not open on Thanksgiving. 

Of course, the best way to do that is to shop local. But it would be nice if the big stores that refused to open saw a bump in their bottom line -- because that's the only line any really care about. If we'd boycotted last year, none would be open this year. Maybe if we reward the few refusing to open on Thanksgiving this year, the others will pay attention.

So, here are some of the national stores that are refusing to open on Thanksgiving: Nordstrom, Costco, Burlington Coat Factory and American Girl.  That’s just a few. Sadly, many more are open all day.

I've got nothing against Christmas, or even Christmas shopping. Gifts rule. But we need to protect Thanksgiving from being swallowed up like this.  

Now, I’m not telling people what to do – especially my wife and mother-in-law.  It's just that we have to do something, or else when we’re older we’ll be able to say stuff like, “Remember when people used to gather around the table and eat dinner on Thanksgiving?”

When Thanksgiving Day arrives, I for one am going to do the following: Eat, Nap, and Chill.  I urge you to do the same.


Anonymous said...

Check out "Black Friday Blues" by Bill Valenti

Candi said...

I do love reading your blog...I have lots of laughs and it's nice to see how husbands really do think, even when most won't admit it.

I do agree with you in that this is unAmerican and it's ruining our Thanksgiving traditions. However, like most Americans, my husband is not in retail and does work on Thanksgiving. So does my mother, who is a manager at our local Walmart. That's pretty much the only family we have in Ohio and that leaves me alone with my children after 2pm every Thanksgiving. My husband and mother don't have a choice but to go to work...they are easily replaceable at their jobs and if they don't comply, they may not have a job to go back to the day after. And while I do LOVE being alone with my children and spending quality time with them, all of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner/games/movies are now forceably finished by 2pm, when my husband had to leave for work. So, that pretty much means family time is over, what do I do? I get a babysitter (a friend or extended family member that is also in the same boat as us) and hit the stores. Unfortunately, the stores will have their sales with or without me...and being that I am disabled and that we are a one income family, shopping on Black Thursday sometimes means the difference between my kids getting what they want or not. It's changed our traditions and the time frame we have to do them, but the sales/stores don't have as much to do with it as the fact that EVERYBODY is open on Thanksgiving, making everyone work. Honestly, I think America is too far gone on this one. Some people will end their traditions and some will adjust. I'm just hoping that my family will ALWAYS take the time on Thanksgiving to just stop and be thankful.

Skye said...

But how will I get monsters university for 9.96?!?!?

Cort Ruddy said...

Candi -- thanks for reading. You make some good points. And, you're right, there are lots of people who have to work Thanksgiving, and other holidays -- nurses, doctors, police, convenient store workers, shift workers, etc. Now we can add retail to the list. I certainly don't begrudge anyone who takes advantage of the sales. It's just hard to watch it happen, and to think about how it has changed the Holiday for every one the past few years. Our kids may end up thinking we're thankful for all the doorbusters. Thanks again for reading, and I'm glad you enjoy the blog.

Cort Ruddy said...

Skye -- where's that deal, not that I'm going to get it. Just in case my wife's out, I can tell her to swing by. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry but that is a total and utter ridiculous excuse. "Mom the other kids are doing it to so why can't I?" Seriously just because other people are doing it, it still doesn't make it right. The CEO's of those companies aren't working so why are their employee's? It just seems like anymore you have to be a very wealthy person to actually enjoy the holidays. What's next Christmas? It wont be to long and we will just have to say goodbye to that holiday as well. My husband is a full time nurse and works part time at a retail store. If it isn't life threatening to be closed then everyone should be. I also believe this just shows you how selfish we are and how much we do not care about others. I am sorry but Jack and Jill do not need a brand new x box because all the other kids have one. Its not what you spend on your family that matters but the time you spend with your family. The opposite way of thinking is what has been the downfall of our whole civilization. Heck I can't tell you what my parents have given me in the last few years because it didn't matter. I only remember what we did together. Yes nice gifts are nice but if your not there sharing those moments they will be forgotten or looked back on with great sadness.