Door-Busting = The New Turkey?
If 40 is the new 30, and red is the new black, is Thanksgiving the new Black Friday?
This morning's discussion struck a major nerve with you: many major retail stores are foregoing the usual midnight- or 6am-opening on Black Friday, and going with 8pm, even 6pm ON Thanksgiving to start their "door busting sales". While I understand all sides of this tricky coin (supporting the economy, getting great deals, following shopping tradition), I've been on the receiving end of the missing-time-with-your-family stick, and I can tell you first hand, it stinks.
When I lived in Albany, I faced a 6 hour drive - usually in horrible winter weather - twice a year. But they were the only two times I could guarantee my entire family would be together, so I sucked it up and made the trek. One year, I was told I was going to have to work Black Friday, and if I wasn't there, I would lose my job. The lesser of two evils is still an evil, but I had to sacrifice what would be my last Thanksgiving with my grandpa in favor of keeping a roof over my head. I cried all day the Wednesday before, as I was now missing out on MY family tradition of heading to my grandma's and helping with the preparations (followed by joining friends I hadn't seen in 11 months for "Beersgiving", a topic for another time). Thursday morning I was still pretty melancholy, but took some solace in the fact that a dear friend had asked me to spend the holiday with her family, and I would be able to make my traditional Albanian side dish, drope. Don't get me wrong, I was grateful for not having to spend Thanksgiving totally alone...but Skyping with the family just wasn't the same. It was still very lonely.
So when I heard about the day's new side-dish, Black Friday on Thanksgiving, my heart ached for employees would would have to leave their meal early or worse yet, miss it altogether, just so someone could get their hands on a dirt-cheap Tickle Me Elmo. There's no discount deep enough that can bring back that last Thanksgiving with my grandpa, and the following year I was lucky enough to have new management in place that understood the importance of family, and tradition.
95% of the calls that came to my show this morning agreed that Thanksgiving night was a time for friends and family to be together...without elbow-throwing and heated tempers (there's enough of that at the dinner table!) at major retailers. I fully understand the challenges this economy has brought the average American. I just hold the limited time I have with my family a bit higher on the food chain.
I'll take a drumstick and heartburn over a $10 deal any day. ;)