Thanksgiving, a day for shopping or giving thanks? In my opinion…

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s a day when our family and friends come together to spend time, give thanks and enjoy fellowship with each other.  Essentially, it is the only non-materialistic holiday that we celebrate.

And who doesn’t love this painting by Norman Rockwell?norman-rockwell-thanksgiving-2

It makes me feel warm and fuzzy, reminds me of simpler times. This painting for me, defines Thanksgiving.

But in the year 2014, this is the image that seems to be defining Thanksgiving.

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Black Friday has become Black Thursday…making Thanksgiving just another day to shop.

I’ll be honest. I have never been a fan of Black Friday shopping. I did it ONCE.  But apparently I didn’t know there are rules to Black Friday shopping.

Rule#1 Get in line at least 3 hours before the store opens.

Rule #2 Most advertised items will require a number in order to buy it.

Rule #3 If you aren’t among the first 20 people in line, you will not receive a number and will not be able to purchase the item that you waited in line over 3 hours to purchase.

Rule #4 Once inside the store you must push, shove and do whatever it takes to get your item.

 In order to not go completely “bonquiqui”

on someone, I decided the best thing to do was just leave.

bon qui qui

My Black Friday shopping experience lasted a total of 30 minutes. There is’t a bargain in the world worth me going through that again.

Black Friday has been around for as long as I can remember being old enough to know about a bargain. But for non-essential businesses to be open on Thanksgiving day to give people a chance to shop, in my opinion is ridiculous and un-American.

  I know, for years hospital personnel, emergency responders, airline employees and overpaid NFL and NBA stars have worked on Thanksgiving.   But I can guarantee if that is a profession you chose, you knew there was a 100% chance that you would have to work on one or more Thanksgiving days.  And to those people I am grateful. I call these necessary professions!! (Well okay maybe the football and basketball players aren’t a necessary profession, but they DO make a bazillion dollars a year.)

And then BAM! Grocery stores started opening, movie theaters started opening and several years ago one or two retail stores decided to open early on Thanksgiving day….which started the trend of the majority of the retail businesses opening Thanksgiving, 2014. Why? Because they know people will shop.  We are a greedy, enabled, instant gratification kind of society. The retail owners know there are those who will hurry through lunch, hurry through pleasantries with family and friends and then rush out the door to get that “made in China” trinket before someone else gets it…at a fraction of the regularly overinflated cost.

The retail owners, I feel are also taking advantage of  those who may not have family and friends in town, luring them in to shop for deals to good to be true. And the bonus? They can shop and not have to spend the day alone. Well here’s a novel idea…why not volunteer at a homeless shelter? Or,  invite others who also don’t have family and friends around, to come to your house and enjoy time together. Take a walk, read a book, slow down!!! And in doing so, you will allow others to spend the time with their loved ones.

The only thing that will cause “Black Thursday” to be a big ole slap in the face of retail and all other non essential places of business,  is to hit them in their wallet.  If it is a bust and the businesses end up losing money, they will go back to opening during the early morning hours on Black Friday and all will be well.

  I will promise, I for one will not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day. I will be enjoying conversations with my crazy family,  teaching the grandkids to set the Thanksgiving table, cooking, cleaning up, laughing, eating, drinking some good wine, taking a nap, watching a ballgame or two, listening to my sisters plan their Black Friday shopping trips and most importantly giving Thanks to God for all the blessings He has given me.  You know, the traditional way of celebrating Thanksgiving.

We need to all say NO to shopping on Thanksgiving…in my opinion.