Once in a while something sticks in my craw and annoys me to no end and that is this Christmas Shopping season. I love the Christmas Season and it seems to go by way to quickly, but sometimes I think we kind of forget what it is all about. Black Friday seems to have become somewhat of a tradition, shopping at the wee hours of the morning for those can’t miss bargains. I have to say it is not my cup of tea, I prefer to go hunting on the morning after Thanksgiving and do my Christmas shopping when the crowds thin out a bit.
I have always felt a little sorry for those who had to go in to work in the early morning hours on Black Friday. It seemed a little unfair to me that while I was in a turkey induced coma, others had to roust themselves out and go to work. Each year it seemed that one store or another would try to beat the others to the punch and open just a little earlier. Eight a.m. became six a.m. and that turned into two in the morning. Eventually we all knew what was coming next.
I think a couple of stores opened on Thanksgiving last year, however, this year it seemed like almost every store opened. The media even started to call it “Gray Thursday” and that is when they stepped on my last nerve. Listen to me close; it is not “Gray Thursday” it is Thanksgiving and it is a national holiday. You know the day we are all supposed to give thanks for the blessings in our lives, such as the families we are all supposed to spend the day with.
If I thought early morning or late night openings were a little unfair, I think making anyone work on Thanksgiving is horrendous. Of course I feel I can address this issue since I have to work on Thanksgiving most years as do others, but that is because livestock need fed, emergencies need attended to, but shopping is entirely another issue.
I treasure Thanksgiving as a day to spend with my family, a day free of work conflicts and busy schedules. It is one of those precious few days when the world stops to take a deep breath, well, it used to be. It is like the whole Christmas shopping season has superseded the real holidays and I think that is a bad omen for our society. Truthfully, we probably started down this slippery slope several years ago and I am just a guilty as anyone.
I remember when Sundays were a day of rest and no businesses opened. Now nearly every business is open, with the exception of Hobby Lobby. While I would rather be beaten than go in that store, I do admire them for their stance. Sunday should be a family day and we have gotten away from that, and I truly believe our families are suffering because of it. Like I said, I am as guilty of shopping on Sunday as anyone.
That is why I feel the need to put my foot down on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. All of these are days with special deeper meaning, and days meant to be spent as a family. I realize that this time of the year is important to retailers; a big portion of their annual sales comes during this time period. However, do they really need “Gray Thursday” aka Thanksgiving too? Have we all become so engrossed in the spend, spend, spend gift buying frenzy that we have forgotten why we celebrate Christmas?
I know, I am just one person and no one really cares what I think. Surely I am not alone? Don’t get me wrong, I am not condemning everyone who went shopping on Thanksgiving. I know many of my friends and family partook of the madness. But soon the six pm opening will become a noon opening and we will start shopping before the bird hits the oven. I am asking that we all hit the pause button on the madness and just take a moment or two to reflect.
If we knew this was going to be our last Thanksgiving, would we have been so eager to leave the family dinner? If we thought this might be the final holiday for a family member, would we worry so much about our shopping list? I pray that this is not the case for any of you and maybe I am being melodramatic, but I just want us to think about our priorities. Just ask yourself this one question. Is it the gifts and the material stuff or is it something else that is important during this Christmas Season?