Thanksgiving Day Madness!

Thanksgiving is about being thankful, celebrating good times, spectacular parades and hanging with loved ones.

Thanksgiving is about being thankful, good times with loved ones, parades and a treasure trove of memories. It’s not about shopping.

Here are words you’ll never hear from me:

“It’s Thanksgiving Day! Let’s go shopping!”

Which means, if you were hoping to run into me while out shopping on Thanksgiving Day, don’t count on it.

If you were expecting to see me screaming like a banshee as I race down the aisles of Walmart in search of that one of a kind, must-have-or-I’ll-die-deal, don’t hold your breath.

Maybe you thought you’d catch me in the wee hours of the morning, on one of those long lines that seem to go on forever, just so I could be one of the first 500 in to the store to get a free tote bag.

Fat chance.

They’d have to literally be giving away iPads and 3-D TV’s to every customer in order for me to consider venturing out to the stores on Thanksgiving Day.

Because when push comes to shove, I am a Thanksgiving-Day traditionalist and I don’t like it one bit that some are hijacking this uniquely American, nondenominational Norman Rockwell-kind-of-holiday and turning it into, well, something else entirely.

As far as Big Business is concerned, this isn’t a a day for being thankful anymore. It’s a day to start maxing out our credit cards and shop, shop, SHOP! But, in fairness to them, they don’t want you to shop until you drop; they want you to come back the next day and shop, shop, SHOP some more!

Setting the table for family togetherness.

Setting the table for family togetherness.

Trust me, if everyone stayed home and didn’t shop on Thanksgiving Day, the retailers wouldn’t be able to do this at all. Those alleged Thanksgiving Day gangbusters deals would still be there on Black Friday. And by the way, may I remind you that Black Friday was once simply known as the Friday after Thanksgiving. That is, until commercialism absconded with it. But that was years ago, and worthy of its own post.

Slowly over the years, Thanksgiving has turned into some mega-behemoth, super-commercial opportunity to capitalize on our goodwill and desire to give to our loved ones, all to show them how much we care.  If retailers had their way, on Thanksgiving we wouldn’t be saying, “Happy Thanksgiving” to each other. Instead, we’d be saying, “Happy Holiday Shopping.”

The way things are going, I imagine, one day we’ll be having to explain to our grandchildren how, back in our day, Thanksgiving was about family and gathering together to share good times and good food, something we don’t do often enough because most of us no longer live nearby.

Think, too, of all the people who work in these stores and now, instead of sharing pumpkin pie with their own families, they have to forgo togetherness and clock in to sell you a scarf, a video game or whatever it is you couldn’t wait until Friday to buy.

I remember a time when nothing was open on Turkey Day. Nothing! And then grocery stores started opening for a few hours, and frankly, I wasn’t crazy about that. What, you can’t figure out all the ingredients you’ll need for your Thanksgiving meal? You can’t plan ahead and buy your groceries the day before?

And then other stores started caving in to the big Thanksgiving Sell-a-thon: Walmart, Sears, Target, etc.

Thankfully, one of my favorite stores, Nordstrom, recently announced it would remain closed on Thanksgiving. This made me happy, though I can’t help but think, if the other stores are successful this year, and millions flock to the stores, how long before Nordstrom opens its doors, too? Maybe next year?

Please help me, and other bloggers who don’t support this trend, save our national holiday, and refrain from shopping on Thanksgiving Day. After all, shopping can be put off for another day.

But spending time with loved ones can’t and shouldn’t.

So, instead of spending money shopping, gather together and join in spending some real, quality time together. Read a storybook to your child, watch a movie like It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street (the original not the knockoffs that came later). Drink hot cocoa. Have another slice of pumpkin pie and cozy up. You’ll be glad you did.

Besides, you can always max out your credit cards on Friday.

Ed. note: Today’s post is part of a series written by bloggers, like Debbie,  who are saddened at the thought of more and more stores opening on Thanksgiving Day. Frankly, we’re not happy with what it’s doing to our Thanksgiving Day traditions. If you’d like to participate, we encourage you to write a post or include your opinions here.  Be sure to visit our Facebook page where you can pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving Day. Thanks!

41 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Day Madness!

  1. There is nothing I want or need badly enough to brave the madness quite honestly. Why anyone would hit the shops on a holiday is beyond me. I did watch the news later that day and was surprised by the numbers of people who did go out. Us, we sat around my mom’s family room, sipping wine, laughing, and watching movies too full to move. I hope you had a wonderful holiday and send you greetings.

  2. Monica, hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and that your travel wasn’t too tedious. I love this post. We did not do any shopping on Thanksgiving day, and we will not give in to the belief that it is a day of shopping and bargaining, when it is really about getting together. I really just want the stores to stop advertising the come and grab em “great” deals by allowing everyone that time with their families; to have gratitude, to spread love and to share in a meal around a table or however they have planned it, having a wonderful time.
    Why is Black Friday called black? I know not why. One would think the Friday after Thanksgiving would be apt. In Australia, Boxing Day sales was the typical after Christmas shopping/bargain hunting day. Although I remember that sales were even better the first week after the New Year.
    We do our shopping much, much later on Black Friday, do not stand in line and do not shop unless we have planned it out the whole year.
    May you have safe trip back my dear.

    • MM, Hope your Thanksgiving holiday was splendid, too. Mine was wonderful, shopping-free. As for the stores that were opened on Thanksgiving, I noticed that when I went to the store on Friday it wasn’t as busy as in other Black Fridays. So I wondered if any gains made by opening on Thursday, would mean a loss for Friday. Turns out, last night on the news that is exactly what they said. Sales on Friday were slightly down from a year ago! So what will retail do next year? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

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  4. That’s a mighty big and solid rock I’ve been living under. I didn’t know folk shopped on Thanksgiving Day. Always thought it was the day after until this year, I’ve heard more people talking against it. I’m okay without the shopping either day. Though, it’s a bit bothersome that new generations are coming up to know this as a way of celebrating.

    • Savvy, I’d like to think that few will shop tomorrow, but then again very few of us can resist a bargain. The only stand they’ll be taking is on a long line to make their purchases. At least we are trying to make a difference, eh?

  5. I’m ready for the revolution, Monica . . . .i.e., the one that restores sanity to Thanksgiving and lets it be what it was really intended for. Of course you do know that the tangled history of when Thanksgiving actually falls is (alas) tied to making sure there are enough shopping days until that other holiday even more synonymous with buy buy buy. Great post.

  6. Thanks for lending your voice to the chorus of bloggers who are protesting shopping on Thanksgiving! Your post was lovely and so well written!!! Thanks for sharing this with others–together we can make a difference!!!!! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Beth Ann! It’s what I believe and I was glad to do it. Taking a stand, maybe we can make a difference! I so appreciate you stopping by and reading my post, and subscribing. Thanks again! 🙂

  7. I am with you Monica, no shopping for me. Of course, I did once years ago venture out of doors on Thanksgiving day in search of Aluminum Foil, it was a sad and terrible day, it was the day that taught me one of the never forgotten lessons of life, always check twice and make lists!

    I also don’t venture out on Black Friday, both in protest and self-defense.

    Might as well rename the day – Thangsgettings

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  10. Lovely post! Thank you for crusading with us. I love being part of a choir of bloggers that aren’t supporting Thanksgiving shopping and are willing to share what Thanksgiving means to them and their families. We will add your post to the Facebook page and share, share, share!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Of course! This is much needed. This morning on the news, I saw that some people are already camping out for going shopping on Thanksgiving. They’ve even renamed the day. It’s not being called Thanksgiving. Instead, they’re calling it Brown Thursday! Is that outrageous or what?? Jimmy Kimmel last week spoke out about it and said, it has a name. It’s called Thanksgiving and calling it anything else, like Brown Thursday is just plain dumb! Sigh.

  11. We always have a Thanksgiving lunch so my older relatives don’t have to drive in the dark…which leaves Thanksgiving evening wide open for shopping, but I still won’t be partaking.

    • Ah, the not wanting to drive in the dark reason. Love it! I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m getting that way, too. I really don’t like driving in the dark, particularly if I’m going to a new place. Give me the daylight hours any day! Glad you’re not going shopping either. Shopping can wait!

  12. Monica, I can’t say Thank You loud or often enough for this wonderful post! I could practically smell the pumpkin pie and see the happy faces gathered around the big table. I appreciate your joining the cause and will link to your post on the Facebook page.

  13. You won’t find me shopping on Thanksgiving OR at 4 am on Black Friday. I simply don’t get it. That madness represents everything I loathe about the holidays, how beautiful traditions have been hijacked by the of the bottom line. And like you, I always think about the poor employees. Thanks for a great post! Have a wonderful, “Normal Rockwell” Thanksgiving, my friend!

    • Becky, I feel like that guy in the film, Network. Don’t know if you remember but he said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” It became a very popular line back in the 70s. Anyway that’s how I feel every time commercialism creeps a few more inches into this most precious of national holiday. He was talking about something else, but I think it’s fitting here. Here’s the link to see the clip:

  14. Have a great Thanksgiving Monica.

    I received a Black Friday Deals email today from Amazon UK, we appear to be importing some of your American traditions…

    Seventeen years in retail dampened my wish to go shopping at anytime really. When I was in retail we did not have Sunday opening nor did we have opening the day after Christmas and not on new years day either, these are all common over here now. The wife is working Boxing Day the 26th December, so that puts paid to doing anything big for her. I don’t celebrate it myself being an atheist but Sue does and she loves Christmas.

    Family always come first without exception, and that should always be the case. As somebody once tole me after saying he had handed his notice in rather than work at Christmas, I can get another job I can’t get another family.

    Happy non-shopping and Happy Thanksgiving Monica.

    • Thank you, Robert. You’ve a very wise friend. I love that quote: ” I can get another job I can’t get another family.” I hope more people take it to heart. By the way, since you don’t have Thanksgiving, when does the official Christmas holiday season kick off?

  15. I was just thinking about this last night as the TV commercial announced deals galore. NO, I will not participate in the madness either. We will be carving the turkey and not time to fight the traffic, parking 100s of yards from the front door of a retailer, look and look for something to buy, and return. NO time. Cheers to you for participating in this online campaign to stay home with family and/or friends to forge memories rather than buy that thing that will soon be forgotten.

      • Georgette, I’m so glad you are participating, too. Can’t wait to read yours. Wish me luck. I’m going to be one of millions taking a plane to my Thanksgiving destination. I hear weather conditions may delay or (heaven forbid) cancel my flight. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  16. Glad to hear you’re supporting NOT shopping on Thanksgiving. I tweeted and FBed another friend’s post about this just a while earlier. Happy Thanksgiving, Monica, and happy NOT shopping! Have a great week, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

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