By: Randy Ataide
As the end of November approaches each year, our hearts and minds are drawn to special times with family and friends in the time honored tradition of Thanksgiving. A uniquely American holiday, the celebration of “Turkey Day” has grown in stature in the past years as the commercialization of Christmas nearly overpowers the profundity of the sacred day.
When I was young, all the shops and stores were closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Then, following the lead of the merchants of Philadelphia who since the 1960’s opened their doors very early on the Friday after Thanksgiving to encourage shoppers and of course the rest of the nation would soon follow as stores sought to increase their sales. In 2011, Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Best Buy all opened at midnight for the first time. Black Friday was now becoming Black Thursday.
Now, Wal-Mart and a few others have moved the line, placing corporate profits ahead of family and national tradition. In 2012, stores will open at 8pm, disrupting one of the few holidays many hourly workers ever get. While some may argue that indulging in 4,000 calorie meals is hardly a tradition worth keeping, for many the meal and hours together is a sacred moment and provides time for personal, familial, and communal conversation, reflection, and activity.
I have no interest in participating in the ruin of Thanksgiving, as it is fairly clear that commerce and candy has already overtaken Easter and Christmas. Avoid shopping at any store on Thanksgiving and let them know you are not happy with their decisions. We may need to grow our economy, but hawking oversized televisions and cell phones on this precious day is hardly a solution.
Oh, and be thankful and pass the sweet potatoes and good luck on the wishbone!
“Black-Friday-Macys”.2012.Fox News. January 30,2103