Thanksgiving is slowly losing its sanctity as a holiday where loved ones can reunite, reflect on what matters most, spend time in the good company of family and friends, and feast on probably one of the largest meals they'll eat all year (is that considered sanctity...ha!). Then enters the glorious irony of this day of gratitude. Ah, Black Friday, which has become Black Thursday as stores open earlier each year and people camp out hours (even days) before the floodgates open. The mayhem heightens and the lines lengthen, stealing the show and claiming time and attention on a day that it does not deserve.
I would argue that because of this, Thanksgiving is morphing into a day of consumerism and materialism. Not only are people spending less time, or maybe even no time at all, with their families, but employees are required to work during this holiday, taking precious time away from their families as well. An article by Kevin Smith of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, explains findings from a survey which expressed that roughly 55% of Americans don't agree with Black Friday shopping. This is primarily because they think retail stores "have crossed the line" in expectations of employees and a lack of respect in honoring Thanksgiving Day. I'm surprised more people don't oppose it, but I would definitely consider myself among that 55%. Don't get me wrong, I understand the hype of Black Friday to an extent, but I don't think it should start on Thanksgiving Day.
Instead of savoring the fellowship with family and friends, people are counting down the hours until they need to rush off to the madness of "shop until you (literally) drop." Shouldn't this day at the very least be focused on people and not things? For some people, Thanksgiving isn't hardly about the holiday anymore, but more so about scoring the best deals and being first in line. There's plenty of time to hit the stores The way I see it, if stores continue the trend of opening earlier and earlier, where do we draw the line? Will stores begin to open Thanksgiving morning? Stores like Nordstroms, Ikea, and T.J. Maxx are not opening their doors at all on Thanksgiving Day and I hope many others follow suit. Perhaps this doesn't seem like a super significant issue, considering everything else that is going on in the world, but I think for situations like these, a clear line needs to be drawn. Respect for the holiday and its purpose must be the ultimate emphasis, not shopping lists.
Shop til you drop if you must, but take the time to honor this holiday and spend time with your family and friends. Focus on memories and moments and not things...things will soon fade away and one day be forgotten!