November 19, 2012

Am I The Only One?

Am I the only one who is annoyed about the Black Friday bonanza spilling over onto Thanksgiving day?

Actually, that's a rhetorical question. I'm not the only one who is annoyed. I've been scouring social media platforms this evening looking for evidence of other's discontent on the subject, and I found plenty.

You see, I'm so thankful for the things I have, but that's just the issue: they're things. Possessions. Objects. Sure, I think some of the things I own are pretty cool, and certainly there are many other things that I would like to own, but that aren't in my price range. Objects, though, do not have the meaning that relationships have. For what it's worth, I think that possessions aren't what makes life worthwhile, it's the relationships we have. I don't need "big-ticket items" like a TV to enjoy life. In fact, I don't even have cable (there's not much in the way of TV programming that's worthwhile, in my opinion), and I actually don't miss it one bit since I made the decision to get rid of it.

My family, friends, co-workers, and others are worth far more to me than any object.

Where did that thought process break down in our society? It seems like more and more people are less focused on Thanksgiving (these days, I sometimes wonder how many people know the holiday's origin), and are more focused on Black Friday deals.

I'm a Black Friday shopper. I go out every year in search of deals, but I absolutely refuse to go out on Thanksgiving Day to shop for objects when I could instead be with people that I care about and who care about me. This isn't a new feeling for me, because I distinctly remember discussing this last year.

Sadly, there is a demand for these stores to be open on Thanksgiving Day. I understand the insistence from these companies that their customers have asked for sales on Thanksgiving, but wouldn't it be great to see some companies taking a stand? Have a backbone. What about an ad that says something like, "we believe in giving thanks, and we're thankful for our employees and their families, so we won't be opening our doors until 6 am on Friday?"

So, this year, I'm talking to you, Sears, Kmart (opening at 6am on Thanksgiving Day? Really?), Target, Toys R Us, and Target. There are others, I'm sure, but those are coming to mind first. Let your employees enjoy the holiday, and stop making it sound absolutely urgent that I leave my family on Thanksgiving to find a good deal.

Sears actually responded to my tweet on the subject, saying that they were focusing on seasonal employees and those who volunteer to work on Thanksgiving. It's the same response they have sent hundreds of others who are raising concerns about the hours of operation. In response, I asked whether there would be a consequence for employees who didn't volunteer and how many were "volunteering" out of necessity. I haven't gotten a reply to that one.

What do you think about all of this?

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