Thanksgiving: a time to spend with family or shopping?

Hundreds line up outside Target to try and get Black Friday deals. / Photo by Powhusku on Creative Commons
Hundreds line up outside Target to try and get Black Friday deals. ( Photo under Creative Commons by Powhusku)

That time a year is just around the corner. The time of year where school comes to a halt and you are able to pack up and go home for the Holidays, spending countless hours with your family, stuffing your face with delicious family recipes. That is, if you are not the typical college student who works in retail and has to work on Black Friday.

Black Friday has become a national sensation all over America, with retailers opening their doors earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving that it makes you think, what is the point of even being closed on Thanksgiving? For those who are not familiar, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving where retailers have amazing deals on big name items, like televisions and computers, causing people to line up at their the week of Thanksgiving.

Stores like Best Buy, Kohl’s, Walmart, and Target are all opening up Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m. causing employees to be there at least an hour early to find parking and beat the crowd to ensure they will not be late to work. Not to mention the crazy hours they put in, some working fourteen hour days and then doubling back Friday afternoon.

According to the Huffington Post, a mall in New York is threatening to fine it’s stores two-hundred dollars an hour if they refused to open up on black Friday. Walden Galleria, a mall in Buffalo, told their stores managers about the fines, which means if the stores don’t open until midnight it could cost them $1,200.

What gets me is where the CEOs and top people of these companies are on Thanksgiving Day? You can bet me that they are not at ones of their stores, working through the madness of people stampeding through the door, ringing up bitchy customers, and not being able to spend the day with their family.

Being a triplet and being raised in a close knit family, I am not so happy with the idea of sharing my brother with Best Buy every holiday. In the beginning, it would be okay because Best Buy would open early Friday and not at all on Thanksgiving, but as the years pass and people become needier and needier, Best Buy and other retailers have decided to open there doors and not give their employees options on if they can work or not. For the last two years, I have not spent Thanksgiving, or much of November through December, with my brother because if the hectic demands of a retail store.

Thanksgiving, and the holiday time in general, are times we need to cherish – to be around our families, friends, and loved ones. Countless times I have been shown that life is short and precious and I chose to cherish the moments I can with my family; sadly Best Buy and other retailers are ruining that for me and a lot of other people.

Now, I know a lot of people are reading this and thinking I am just a whiny person not happy with the way corporate America is ahead right now, and sure maybe I do sound like that, but my family may be different then others, and we value our time together especially as we get older and some of us begin to start new families. I understand that some people spend their Thanksgiving/ family time out doing black Friday shopping and that is their thing but it is not mine.

Another point I want to come back to is where are the main head honchos who own and help run these companies. The people who make these major decisions because they want more money? Are they at the stores, ringing customers up, hearing complaints when a computer is out of stock, or dealing with someone who was trampled by people pushing their way through doors? Probably not; they are probably at home enjoying Thanksgiving with their family, just like everyone else should be.

I honestly believe that the governor should get involved and put a stop to this nonsense. We need to take Thanksgiving back to a time where everyone was together and not out shopping. I know on Friday I will turn my television on and see the swarms of crowds at retailers and the news about someone being trampled to death and for what, 30 percent off a television? To me that sounds really lame.


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