Once known as a holiday to give thanks for family, friends, and the opportunities we share, Thanksgiving is the beginning of our six week long celebration of the end of one year and beginning of the next.
The beginning of the holiday shopping season.
Tomorrow is “Black Friday”, the busiest brick and mortar shopping day of the year. Not that long ago, it was simply just a very busy shopping day, not fraught with sales and incentives. (I always thought it would make more sense for retailers to intentionally spread out the holiday spending over a longer period, but what do I know?)
What it’s become bothers me, and I think it’s time to take a stand. Those who know me know I’m all for people spending money on whatever they want, whenever they want. While I may not share the populations desire for constant consumption, I am a big fan of getting the things I want and that make my life easier for a good price.
But the day after Thanksgiving blitz has gotten out of control.
I remember a time (and I’m not that old) when you had to make sure you got gas on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, because all the gas stations were closed. 20 years ago, I worked in one of the first McDonalds to open for breakfast on Thanksgiving – we opened from 6 to 11 and served breakfast. We weren’t all that busy.
Today, McDonalds are open 24 hours. Convenience stores and grocery stores have normal hours (which I think is more a demand issue, which is fine). Beltway Fine Wine? Open. Wal-Mart is open 24 hours.
And tonight? At midnight, Target, Toys R Us, HH Gregg, Macy’s, Ace Hardware, Kohls, and many, many more retailers will open their doors.
Old Navy is open today! 120 Best Buy locations will open at 9PM tonight.
What happened? Do we really need to start shopping 10-12 hours earlier? How many families jump up from Thanksgiving dinner and rush out to go shopping?
You know who can stop this? We can. Start a movement. Don’t go shopping until tomorrow. Better yet, don’t go shopping this weekend at all! Make this weekend about something other than the sale, other than the price drop. Retailers will listen and adjust.
Maybe I’m getting old, but my Thanksgiving remains about family and friends, about a large meal and lots of wine. This year, it’s about Ravens football, too. All with my wife, parents, siblings, aunt, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Not with some crowd trying to save $40 on a big TV. Time with my family is worth more to me.