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Filed under Opinion

Stuffing retailers with money

The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing color and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I just loved the traditions of waking up and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my family while smelling the aroma of the ham and turkey my mom cooked for our Thanksgiving lunch and dinner. I love being able to leave the stressful world of college and spend time with family whom I don’t see much of anymore.

In the past couple of years, most Americans have gone from this sit-down Thanksgiving dinner to drinking hot chocolate while standing in line at the top-chain stores waiting to get the best shopping deals.  Black Friday has made Thanksgiving insignificant in the minds of Americans and retailers. Stores have slowly inched their opening times into Thanksgiving night in order to boost their holiday sales.

Some stores have already announced when they will open on the holiday. Walmart will be opening at 6 p.m., Target will follow at 8 p.m. This year, Kmart beat their other competitors by deciding to open at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Now, since the depression of 2008, I can understand that retailers want to make a couple of extra bucks when they can. But making employees work instead of having the chance to spend time with families is just ridiculous.

There are stores that agree with this and have given up more sales in exchange for time off. According to WEAU news, Menards, Sam’s Club, Costco, TJ Maxx and Nordstrom refuse to open Thanksgiving Day.

Last year was the first year in which I had to work Thanksgiving night into Black Friday morning instead of going home. And it wasn’t an option. In the job interview before I was hired, I had to agree to work Black Friday. All employees were required to work.  The insanity of watching the doors open and seeing people rushing in was just incredible.

I’ve heard some people say that doing Black Friday shopping is their way of having family time. I can respect that.  However, that isn’t the only thing Thanksgiving is intended for.

It is a time when we stop everything that we’re doing and look on all the things we have to be grateful for. It is a time to be blessed to have our family, friends and relatives all around us for support. I feel like Black Friday is the irony of the foundational ideas that Thanksgiving was created for.

For instance, if you say you’re content with everything in your life and then go out on Black Friday to get the latest items for the best deals, then you’re not really content.  Americans are in a constant mode of consumption, where things continually change and people need to have the latest items in order to be happy.

This consumption is gobbling up Thanksgiving that will soon disappear unless people can just stop for 24 hours on their buying addictions and take advantage of being around the things and people that matter. For in an instant, those might just disappear.

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