leave your inhibitions at the door
This Thursday in America is Thanksgiving, that terrific confluence of family, friends, gratitude, food, drink, relaxation, and maybe some football. It’s also the first day of Hanukkah, so many of you “Members of the Tribe” will be celebrating Thanksgivingkah. (Can I trademark that?)
But did you notice what my short little list of what Thanksgiving means is missing? Shopping. In my post about Thanksgiving a couple years ago, here’s why I love the holiday –
This is my favorite holiday of the year – and not just because of the gluttony. This is the only American holiday that has NOT been hijacked by the overzealous commercialism, religion, and patriotism. Think about it…. July 4th? fun, but too much flag waving, same with Memorial Day. Christmas? Too commercial these days. Easter? Too religious. Nope Thanksgiving Day’s got ‘em all beat – just a time spent with loved ones, enjoying each other’s company, playing/watching football, and dining.
Alas, this may no longer be completely true any more. The day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” when stores offer deep discounts and has become the biggest shopping day of the year. Store open early in an effort to bring people in the doors for more revenue. It’s especially important this year as Thanksgiving falls very late in the month of November, thus compressing the holiday shopping season. And it’s good for the national economy. At least that’s what they say.
Now there’s a new twist – many stores and malls have followed Walmart’s lead and are opening their doors on Thanksgiving to give people an early start on the holiday shopping. So instead of visions of this –
People will be opting for visions of this –
Or this –
This whole idea of commercializing Thanksgiving really bothers me. Granted, those fools who would rather spend their time fighting complete strangers for a 20%-off television really has no impact on my personal happiness. But in my advancing years, I’m starting to be more sympathetic to other people. In this case, I’m feeling really sorry for those poor souls who have to actually go to work on those days. Retail jobs are not very glamorous and the workers often have no choice but to work – either for fear of losing their jobs or because they REALLY need the money.
Ironically, this will spell the end of Black Friday. Do you think retailers will pull back next time and go back to being closed on Thanksgiving? Nope, they’re going to keep up the new “tradition.” And we’re probably going to see shopping season start earlier and earlier.
So why don’t we just all stop the nonsense and fix this for good? How about if we don’t tie the shopping to Thanksgiving at all? Why don’t we just establish a constant date for the official start? Hunting season starts on a specific date, why not “bargain hunting?”
I propose shopping season starts on November 18th. Thanksgiving will never fall on that date and retailers will have a huge shopping season. Economists will love it as it makes analyzing how strong the shopping season was much easier as the season would be the same duration year after year. And family-types like me won’t get pissed off about the commercialization of my favorite holiday. And the day then won’t be associated with mass consumerism.
The other benefit? November 18th is my birthday. So now you jerks won’t forget to get me a present. Again.
Have a terrific Thanksgiving weekend! What are your plans?