The holidays, the most wonderful time of the year. When everyone gets together with their families and crafts huge expansive meals and they all gather on the couch to watch their favorite movies and play games. Sounds perfect right? It pretty much is. Until Black Friday comes. When all family values go out the window, all general well-being for humanity is erased for that 200 dollar flat screen television. Black Friday used to be a cool event, but now it’s gotten out of hand and it’s breaching on the sanctity of the holidays.

The past four to five years my family has hosted Thanksgiving and it’s been an absolute blast. Our house is packed to the brim with family, food, and football. It’s always a fun time and around nine or ten when things start to wind down and family leaves we strap on the coats hats and gloves and we pack in the van with mom and head out around midnight. I was always young and never had a job or real money to get anything but for some reason I loved standing in line with my mom who was there to actually get something. We’d stand in line through the cold and sometimes the rain and once we finally got in the store the excitement was so much fun. People rushing to get their gifts, people running around with carts full of TV’s, it was so interesting to watch. And after visiting a few places we’d go to Steak n Shake or somewhere open 24 hours and get some food at some ungodly hour in the morning. It was all such a fun experience. But it’s changed so much.

That was back in the day when places didn’t open until four or five a.m. or later. So it didn’t infringe on your family Thanksgiving at all. Aside from the crazy people who go out and line up the days before Black Friday, you didn’t really have to worry about getting in line until later at night. But as the years went on places started opening sooner and sooner. Now places are opening at five and six p.m. That’s in the afternoon! When everyone should be in their homes enjoying stuffing and turkey! Who in their right mind wants to go out in the middle of the day and throw away their Thanksgiving for a few good deals? It’s gotten out of control and it seems entirely superfluous.

The reason this is all happening is because of two things: 1) People didn’t want to go out at five in the morning to get the deals and 2) Amazon and online retailers were stealing storefronts business online and on Cyber Monday. So stores thought “Hey, instead of opening on Friday at say, nine a.m. let’s open at five p.m. on Thanksgiving.” This is only going to cause more headaches and more chaos among customers. Every year we are seeing insane videos of people being trampled and injured during store openings as customers barge through the doors, disregarding any safety and organization the store has set up.

So I propose that instead of stores opening earlier, push it later and make Black Friday on FRIDAY, and not the sacred family time of Thanksgiving. Or just cut it out entirely and make everything online because that’s what we’re moving towards. Either way I plead, don’t waste your time out there on Thanksgiving Day, stay in with your family. And when you do go out, be safe and smart. There’s no sense in hurting someone over a five dollar toaster.