Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Black Thursday? Stop. Don't do it. I beg you.

Chiara came home from school yesterday and announced: "I'm going to the mall on Black Friday." Before I could even get past my stunned silence to choke out a response,  Olivia said, with some sadness, I must admit (because there's nothing she loves more than shopping): "We don't even go to the mall on regular days, why would we go on Black Friday?"

Precisely. I am anti-mall on any day. I just don't enjoy it. When I make a trip to the mall, I'm like a Navy Seal, going after my target and high-tailing it out of there as quickly as possible. Window shopping has never been my thing. But the thought of Black Friday at the mall sends shivers up my spine. The parking. The pushing. The same old stuff repackaged and repriced and shoved down our throats by desperate retailers. Ugh.

Then this week came the news that Black Friday wasn't enough; some of us apparently need Black Thursday. What gift could possibly be so important, so necessary that it would lure you away from your Thanksgiving festivities -- and all that delicious stuffing -- so you can stand on line for one more must-have whatever? I'm sorry but this sort of thing makes me beyond depressed. I hate to sound like an old person, but our world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket -- or an oversized reusable green shopping bag.

Please don't go shopping on Thanksgiving. I beg you. Please stay home with your family, and, if by some chance you don't have a family and are going to be spending the holiday alone, come over here. Seriously. We'll save you from shopping-at-all-costs. I cannot stand the thought of one NSS reader standing in line at Best Buy on Thanksgiving.

You have enough. You are enough. Nothing they're selling is worth your soul.

Maybe that's too dramatic. Maybe picking up a really cheap blouse isn't going to cost you your soul. Then again, maybe it will cost you a tiny little sliver of it. And what about all those people who have to go to work or lose their jobs so the rest of us can fill our closets with more stuff? Think about them.

Don't do it. Put on "It's a Wonderful Life" after dinner, gather the people you love around you, and just  be thankful for what's in your life right now. And I'll try to do the same, even if the house isn't as perfect as I'd like it to be for all our guests, even if the mashed potatoes are done way before the turkey is sliced, even if my youngest child thinks Black Friday is a holiday worth celebrating. It's a wonderful life, no further accessories required.


Jeanne Grunert said...

What a great blog post, Mary. We saw the ads yesterday that stores would open at midnight on Thursday and were just stunned. Thanksgiving became the only holiday left that was at least partially unsoiled by rampant consumerism...and now it's creeping in. Let's hope everyone keeps Thanksgiving as a day for THANKS and not GIMME MORE.

Allison said...

Amen! I used to be a retail reporter, and had to COVER Black Friday. So glad I can stay home with my feet up and my family around me!

Unknown said...

I love shopping, I love going shopping for clearance items, but I do NOT love all this materialism we're surrounded by... and neither do I like all the crowds and ridiculousness with Black Friday. People are KILLED every year on Black Friday, TRAMPLED by people running to grab more stuff. So stupid.

Anonymous said...

There's also the collateral Black Friday damage that affects non-shoppers. No one in my family will be shopping on Thanksgiving, but unfortunately we'll lose my sister-in-law early in the evening -- she has to go in to work because her store needs to prepare to open at midnight Friday or some other crazy hour.

Anonymous said...

I think they're pushing the sales to Thursday out of desperation. Retail sales this time of year are getting more and more dismal, which must provoke panic, since Christmas sales provide at least 35% of a business' annual profit. Maybe this trend is a positive sign instead of a negative one, that people just aren't supporting the retailers the way they used to.

Mary DeTurris Poust said...

Just the fact that a reporter has to COVER Black Friday is really all we need to know. Glad you won't have to be in the thick of it this year. :-)
Happy Thanksgiving!

James Joseph said...

I am a butcher turned into a retail meatcutter because all the small shops cannot compete with the 24-hour 7-day per week supercenters. Please, for the love of that is all holy do not shop on Thanksgiving Thursday or Thanksgiving Friday.

And, spread the word and just plain stop shopping on Saturdays and Sundays. Please allow folk like me to see our family and go to church. Tell everybody that it is a sin, or at the very least extremely inconsiderate, to shop and dine-out on weekends.

H. Hobbit said...

I appreciate your speaking up against this new 'tradition' that seems to be the up and coming wave of our sad future. No amount of money I may save by shopping 'Thanksgiving Specials' would be worth the disrespect I would be displaying to the workers and their families who are forced to arrange holiday plans around their work schedules. I would be ashamed to contribute to such a blatant and inconsiderate abuse of the workers-- all so that I could feel 'smug' that I got a good deal.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Best Buy was closed today.