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.
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!
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!