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Pet Peeve #15: Black Friday Sales now Start on Thanksgiving Day

Saying that consumerism is a way of life for most Americans might be a little bit of an understatement. With the holiday season quickly approaching, this especially rings true.

Earlier today, countless people probably left their Thanksgiving dinner early in order to pitch a tent or set up a couple of chairs to wait in line for Black Friday (or Thanksgiving Day) sales, instead of spending a rare day when most people are off work with loved ones.

Last year some stores stayed open all day, and started their sales in the evening on Thanksgiving. Employees at those places most likely weren’t even able to spend the day with friends or family like the rest of America because their employer chose profit over tradition.

As someone who has mainly worked in retail my entire adult life, seeing these shifts in scheduling or store closings is very scary. I’ve become accustomed to knowing no matter what, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter will be days I can 100% say are free from work. With the precedent of certain stores staying open last year, I worry constantly that many other retailers are going to follow suit.

At what point is choosing profit over tradition going too far?

Sure, advertising huge sales to kick off people’s Christmas shopping is a great way to get a company’s books back in the black, but does anyone really need to sacrifice quality time with family for the hope of buying a laptop for $150?

As a consumer myself, I like to acquire stuff, but at some point, having all of this stuff really does nothing for me other than take up space.

Last year, I did jump on the bandwagon and ended up going to Wal-Mart late in the evening for a little Thanksgiving Day shopping. Sure, I got a lot of presents checked off my list, but afterwards I felt bad because my ability to shop that day meant employees at the store had to be at work when they should be home with their families.

This year, I decided to not shop at all on Thanksgiving, no matter how good a deal something I planned on buying for someone was advertised.

My decision might not have a huge impact in the grand scheme of things, but not going out shopping tonight felt like the right decision. I’m not judging my friends and family members who went out tonight to snag some good deals, but I wish the opportunity for those deals didn’t exist on Thanksgiving Day because retailers had made the decision to not open their doors until Black Friday.

This year, one of the many things I’m thankful  for is the fact that I work for a company that still honors tradition over profit (for now), and I was able to spend the day with my family.

Responses (2)

  1. melanie says:

    Two of the ladies I had the honor of sharing our Thanksgiving with work at a retail store that opens its doors on Thanksgiving night. They actually enjoy working on this holiday because they have the morning and afternoon to spend with family, and get paid handsomely (holiday pay) for working it. They told me they actually look forward to it, because the extra boost in pay helps them to pay for their gifts they will be giving at Christmastime.

  2. Joe Babbitt says:

    I can only hope that people have gotten more civilized about it. Too many horror stories about people being trampled to death by the ravenous consumer spirit. Although, there was a tweet I saw that made me giggle for a solid 10 minutes:

    MISSED CONNECTION: I was pushed up against a door jamb at Walmart, you were holding a $20 blu-ray player and punching me in the kidneys.

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