I am, admittedly, not a shopper. I truly dislike shopping, especially browsing. I go to the store with a list and get what I need. So, skipping the stores on Black Friday isn't tough for me. And, normally, I would just head out for my hike and keep my mouth shut about what everyone else chose to do.
But, I am appalled by this trend of retailers opening, not just on Black Friday, but on Thanksgiving.
For crying out loud, stay home, give thanks, play a board game, read, or just cuddle on the couch in your post-feast haze. Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what you have and spending it with people who are important to you. It's not about getting the best deal before the person behind you in line can snag it. Spend time with your family and friends and not the deal-crazed lunatics with dollars signs in their eyes and coupons hanging out of their pockets.
Thanksgiving is quintessentially American. Dating back to the 17th century, it's about unity and breaking bread with family and community. It's a pause. It's not overtly religious, but it feels reverent and respectful. So, when I saw this campaign on Facebook, I shared it.
"Because I believe in family, I pledge to not shop on Thanksgiving. If I'm shopping, someone else is working and NOT spending time with their family. Everyone deserves a holiday."
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be helping. The list of stores that will open on Thanksgiving Day keeps growing. It's disturbing. Walmart, Toys R Us, Kmart, Old Navy, Sears, Target, JCPenny, Kohl's. Do you frequent any of these stores? I do. Or, I have in the past. I am taking a stand and will be spending my dollars at stores where actions speak volumes about how they feel about their employees. I may be a member of the "me" generation, but I find this trend nauseating.
As plugged in as we all are, if you must shop, do your retail therapy online. Your orders will be fulfilled on the next business day. You won't know the difference, I promise. Maybe we can at least keep the physical stores shuttered for the day and allow employees to stay home with their families.
As a mother of young(ish) children, I think about the fact that my boys get more pleasure out of playing with the box that a fancy new toy comes in than the gadget itself. They love empty boxes because they can turn them into whatever they want. They can invent a board game or make a hut. They certainly won't know that you saved 80% on their Christmas present because you stood in line for 2 hours. But they will remember whatever you do that includes them.
Here's what we did last Black Friday...we took our best friends down the coast, crossed a river in our underwear, built a driftwood fort, and had a delicious picnic of Thanksgiving leftovers.
These four kiddos - and even my husband and I - talk about that day frequently. We're talking about doing it again.
I'm not going to be shopping on Thanksgiving, or the day after. I'm going to focus on what I have and do what I can to try to stop this holiday from being gobbled up by greed.