Monday, November 21, 2011
The Day Formerly Known as Thanksgiving.
This comic says it all. We barely get through Halloween in most places before the lights and sparkles of Christmas start to go up in stores. It seems like every year the decorations appear earlier and earlier, and except for the random cornucopia centerpiece or simply fall themed decor, Thanksgiving gets little to no love at all.
In the past few weeks I have seen Countdown to Black Friday sales, Pre-Black Friday Sales, and various other names for sales that simply happen to fall on days other than the traditional Black Friday. It seems like every year the season is extended just a tad. With the state of the economy I can understand stores doing everything they can to attract shoppers but I feel like the excitement of Black Friday is being diluted by extending the sales into a pre-season. The most agitating of all sales in my mind are the Thanksgiving day sales, and the reason really has nothing to do with prices.
In order for these stores to remain open for these amazing, fantastic, not to be missed DAY BEFORE BLACK FRIDAY sales, (formerly known as Thanksgiving Day,) employees are required to be in the stores. That means that a lot of retail workers and their management will be absent from their family meals for Thanksgiving day and most likely the entire weekend to follow. Are the deals worth it? Was it not enough to have employees coming in to work in the wee hours of the morning to prepare for Black Friday that we have to rob them of a day of respite and family in order to turn just a little more profit?
Certain days of the year used to be set aside for family. In today's bustling society where families are meeting at the dinner table less often, where extended families range the nation and the globe, Thanksgiving remained as one of the few holidays that brought families together. Stores remaining open for Thanksgiving not only distracts from the gatherings of families but for some families it ensures that many members will not be able to partake in the festivities at all. In years past, I have missed Thanksgiving and other holidays because of a retail job and the schedule it required. With the state of the economy as it is, it seems to me that there are even more people required to do that this year. My own mother, who is working retail as a second job, will be working Thanksgiving Day from 5pm onward.
Am I saying skip the sales? It's antithetical to my very nature to tell someone to pass up a deal, but remember while you are out there that the people serving you in the store are missing time with their families so that you can get that deal. Try to temper your excitement with patience. Handle the long lines with graciousness. Smile and thank them, you may be the only one who does so that day.