OK, I get it. Everyone likes a bargain and with the economy still struggling to get back on its shaky feet, the Black Friday pandemonium is sort of understandable. But I have to draw the line when the big box stores move in on Thanksgiving Day, what I’ve been calling Black Friday Creep.
I’ve complained for many years that Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday. The Christmas hustle starts in some stores as early as September and gets the full-court press as soon as Halloween is over. The holiday hawking gets louder and louder as November marches on. If it weren’t for supermarkets suddenly being overrun by turkeys, Thanksgiving would disappear in the din.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. But I also love Thanksgiving. It’s the least-commercialized holiday we have. No gifts, no competing with neighbors for the glitziest lighting displays, no fighting the crowds except at the grocery store.
It’s supposed to be a time for family, friends, football, and too much food. Oh yeah, it’s also supposed to be the time we talk about what we’re thankful for.
Instead, pumpkin pie crumbs will scatter as millions rush from their tables to get to the stores on Thanksgiving night. Some chains are even opening at 6 am Thanksgiving morning. And now Macy’s, the last bastion of Thanksgiving celebration with its parade, is opening Thanksgiving night.
Please people, stop the insanity! Don’t you want to sleep in on Friday morning? Take the dog for a leisurely stroll in the crisp autumn air? Have turkey sandwiches for lunch instead of fast food at the mall? Let’s slow it all down.
I’m saying all this in the context of being a retailer myself, so you have to know I’m sincere about the Creep. At the risk of sounding self-serving, though, may I suggest an antidote for Black Friday? It’s called Fair Tuesday.
On December 3, buy one fair trade product. It’s a small step directly benefiting a struggling community somewhere in the world and a reminder of how much you really do have to be thankful for.