Ah, Black Friday. My family and I have participated for multiple years now and consider it a semi-tradition around Thanksgiving. I think it can be fun to bring people together for the sake of the deals, but I also don't think Thanksgiving day should be ridden with consumerism. We leave our dads at home to sleep and watch over our leftovers while we parade into stores starting as early as 1 in the afternoon.

Dinner. Nap. Second dinner. Game plan. Pie. Actual shopping. Third dinner. Nap.

This is usually the schedule we shoot for, but as of a few years ago it seems like it's impossible to take our time. Year after year I have seen Black Friday creep up and slowly take over Thanksgiving day. I hate it for my family, but I mostly hate it for retail workers who are pressured into working the holidays. I'm aware that holiday hours come with awesome paychecks, but I have also heard complaints from several friends who feel trapped by their job, pressured to return home, and just so they can make it to work at 2 pm on the holiday. About five years ago, I remember going to stores at 6-7 pm because they wouldn't even open until later that day or even the next morning. Some stores such as "Bath and Body Works" don't open until early the next day, which is better than most.

As I've gotten older (and wiser, I hope), I see all of the hard work that has been put into Black Friday. I truly appreciate those that are willing to put up with the crowds. People can be so hateful. If you are someone that works holidays, here is a big 'thank you' for stepping up and being there. You are so brave.

But where is the justice for Turkey Day?

The point is that we are all exhausted and deserve a break. I think it's only fair that we allow it to be what it's supposed to be - a break. The holiday season is already difficult for people who experience seasonal depression. Some of us might be grieving the loss of family members. Or maybe we have just worked ourselves too hard. I always hated being forced to work even two days before Thanksgiving/Christmas at my old job because I was just mentally exhausted. I know this is especially true for students too. I just want to enjoy being lazy with my family, but Christmas puts a lot of pressure on us to get our shopping done. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it's solely about family. No rushing around, no gifts, just food and family. Let's keep it that way.