Since I was a baby my mom and I have always gone Black Friday shopping. It is a tradition of ours that has been going on for 20+ years and I love it! I have a big family and buying for all the cousins on Black Friday has always been our strategic move.
As I’m sure you all know, Black Friday has evolved over time. Year after year the deals get better and the sales start earlier. For a while, this was exciting because waking up at 3 or 4 am to shop was truly unique and special. Now, I believe Black Friday has gotten a bit out of hand.
It’s Black Friday… not “Black Thanksgiving”
Every year stores open earlier and earlier. My mom and I have not, and will not, go Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. There are a number of reasons I do not support shopping on Thanksgiving that I’ll share below. As consumers, I believe it is on us to try to revert Black Friday to what it used to be.
1. Employees should be able to enjoy their Thanksgiving
First and foremost, people who work at retailers that partake in “Black Thanksgiving”, as I’ll call it, need to sacrifice their holiday to work. They will likely need to leave their family early to prepare the store for opening. Although some employees may not mind, I’m sure there are people that would rather spend time with their family.
Unfortunately, the service industry does require people to work on holidays. That’s true of retailers, restaurants, and more. However, Black Friday has previously been a day for retailers to have doorbuster deals, special offers, early hours, etc. That never included Thanksgiving until more recent years. I personally do not understand why the shift is necessary. Why can’t retailers stay closed on Thanksgiving and have true doorbuster deals early Friday??
2. Black Friday loses it’s significance
Second, part of what made Black Friday special in my mind was the fact that it was truly unique. Stores opening at the crack of dawn with 1-day deals was special. It was something to look forward to every year and it made the day exciting. Hunting your perfect deal and making a plan was all part of the fun. But now, with Black Friday becoming “Black Thanksgiving”, you lose all of those things.
Retailers are starting their sales earlier and earlier. In my opinion, what makes these sales any different then other sales throughout the year? The Black Friday deals are becoming just another sale. The only difference is, you actually have a lot more shopping you need to do with the holidays. Black Friday is not Black Friday if it is a week long sale with doors opening Thanksgiving day.
3. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks
Lastly, Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time we take a step back and appreciate all the things we have in our life. We should take time to be grateful for our family, friends, homes, jobs, pets, and so much more. My parents have a sign in our house that says:
What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?
Regardless of your religious beliefs, this quote is spot on. We live in a busy world and sometimes being thankful is not #1 on our to-do list. I’m guilty of this and I’m sure many of you are too. Thanksgiving is a day designated to being thankful; a day to prioritize it. We should not put shopping first and make Thanksgiving, yet another day, we could neglect giving thanks.
My mom and I still wake up early Friday and go shopping. We will continue to do this and keep Black Friday the way it was previously for us. I encourage you all to do the same. If we don’t show up to stores on Thanksgiving day, they’ll stop opening.
I’ve included a sign I saw at Von Maur this week. I support Von Maur’s decision to stay closed on Thanksgiving day and hope they can be a leader for many other retailers. I’m not alone when saying Black Friday has gotten out of hand.
I wish you all a happy holiday and hope you spread the message I’m sharing today. Do what makes you comfortably you and know I’m comfortably me when I don’t shop on Thanksgiving.