Having had to work on Thanksgiving, many times covering the madness that is Black Friday, I have become very opinionated about Friday starting on Thursday in the case of Black Friday. One could make the case as to why stores should be open on the holiday, but lost in translation is the reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving.
I couldn’t stand working the holidays when I worked in TV news. However at the time, I had the mindset of the news didn’t stop just because people were giving thanks. Frankly, some people gave thanks by shooting at other people, which is probably another reason I got out of the business. For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I usually had one of the holidays off and it rotated every year. This resulted in missing many holidays with either my family or Mrs. Rookie Dad’s family. Sure the holiday pay was great and many times needed, I couldn’t exactly be thankful for not getting the opportunity to sit around the dinner table and eating a huge turkey, followed by slipping into a tryptophan coma, all while watching football.
That is the reason when I am spending the holiday watching my son play with his cousins or talking politics (despite our differing of opinions) with the family, tears nearly come to my eyes. I am SO thankful that I am able to spend the holidays with my family, and there is no one else that I would rather spend them with. Even my in-laws!
I cannot imagine spending the Holiday waiting in line of a Best Buy or Target, only to get 1/2 off a TV. I remember spending Black Friday waking up early and heading to Wal-Mart with my mom after the crowds have died down just to see what we could find. We didn’t have an agenda and many times we hadn’t spent the entire day scouring the ads to see what we were going to get.
With that being said, I have NOTHING against Black Friday itself. While it may not be something for me, I have no problem with stores opening up at 6am on Friday morning. Whether you choose to camp out in front of the store waiting for it to open is up to you. I know of a few families who even had their Thanksgiving meal sitting in front of a Wal-Mart (before they started opening for Black Friday on Thursday). I covered stories like that quite frequently when I worked in news.
But the frenzy has now gotten so out of control that there is an entire movement to Boycott Black Thursday. At the risk of losing sales, many retailers are now refusing to open on Thanksgiving and allow their employees spend the holiday with their families. Just what Thanksgiving is all about.
Thanksgiving is already quickly becoming a forgotten holiday as more and more stores put up Christmas decorations by Labor Day. What is forgotten in the sprint to Black Friday is that Thanksgiving is for giving thanks. Thanks for the family that we are able to surround ourselves with. Thanks for being able to eat the food that is provided to us on our tables.
Even if I am to go out this Black Friday to shop for Christmas (even though most of my shopping will be done online on Cyber Monday), I will not be shopping the major retailers that are open on Thanksgiving. Just because I know what it is like to work on a Holiday. It flat out sucks. Saving a few bucks on a new TV is not worth losing out on the time with my family.