Black Friday Becoming Black Thursday
In the last thirty years, Black Friday has become an unofficial holiday across the nation. On Thanksgiving day, families all around America cook up a huge Turkey feast and watch football, enjoying the opportunity to spend time with one another.
But as soon as early Friday morning rolls around, they are off to the nearest mall, eager to buy whatever the stores have on sale.
In recent years, many stores have been opening earlier and earlier on the morning of Black Friday. They compete with each other, hoping to draw in more customers than anyone else. Shoppers used to wake up at 6 a.m. to go to the sales, but just last year stores such as Target and Toys R Us opened their doors at midnight. Recently, Macy’s, along with other retailers, announced their plans to keep their stores open on Thanksgiving Day this year.
This sparked outrage among many people. But can you blame them? Thanksgiving is a time meant for “giving thanks”, a time you spend with the people you care about most. Now, with the United States’ consumerism and materialism getting out of hand, Thanksgiving is being overshadowed by consumers’ apparent need to go out and buy gifts.
Not to mention the employees who will not be able to spend Thanksgiving with their families, but will instead be dealing with hordes of people battling with each other in order to grab the latest gaming console, or the latest smartphone.
Some retailers, such as Macy’s, argued in their defense that a lot of shoppers wanted the store to open earlier on Thanksgiving so that they could get a head start on their Christmas shopping. This is probably true; retailers would not be so bent on opening their stores early if they knew that they would not get a lot of customers coming in.
But stores should not be pointing a finger at the shoppers, and the shoppers should not be pointing their finger at stores. They equally share the responsibility for Thanksgiving losing its meaning. It is simple: the stores open at earlier times, and people come.
If Thanksgiving itself is becoming the new Black Friday, then what will happen to the American tradition of eating a turkey feast and spending time with family?
Someone might need to write an obituary for Thanksgiving, because Black Friday could be the death of it.