I am a consumer. I am a deal loving, Sunday paper browsing, coupon cutting consumer. The happiness that I get from shopping is one that is right up there with cuddling with a cute little puppy. It’s an expensive addiction and it might be materialistic of me, but I used to have a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality that was hard to shake.
Black Friday is coming up and, while my shopping habit is under control, I am faced with a new conflict. If you’ve been stuck in a cave all your life, Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. It is the year the stores slash their prices and offer enough door busters to get my teenage brother who hates shopping right at the front of the line at midnight. The problem is, this truly American event that highlights the great capitalist triumph of the United States is starting to bleed into the Thursday before, which is Thanksgiving. I know, Thanksgiving? Right? What is the big deal? I mean, we consumers could just eat and then go shop the pounds away. As self-centered and amazing as that sounds, we are missing a big chunk of the puzzle. You know those humans; the ones that help you navigate the stores and control the lines; the ones that check you out at the cash register; the ones that stand quietly while you berate them for the store running out of Tickle Me Elmo’s and crock pots? They don’t get Thanksgiving! They don’t get to sit with their family and have a nice meal and reflect on the magical togetherness that is Thanksgiving because they are serving you, the consumer, and waiting on you hand and foot.
You may think that I am being inconsiderate of your need to get that $5 scooter or that festive sweater that your child will try and burn later on, but I am going to stand by it anyways. I used to be like you. I admit it; I was at Wal-Mart on Thursday evening last year buying movies I haven’t even taken the packaging off yet. My shopping problem was much more problematic than one day, but the ridiculousness still stands. I urge you to look into your heart to remember a time when Thanksgiving wasn’t about running to the store to get a deal, but of when everyone had time to just take the day off and spend it with those dear to them. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? And the gap between Black Friday and Thanksgiving is shrinking. Stores are opening sooner and sooner! Black Friday is swallowing Thanksgiving up like a giant turkey. So, now that you realize there is a problem, what can you do? Only one person can’t make a difference, so you should just go with the inevitable, right? Wrong. You sit your butt down and marinate on the couch on Thanksgiving day. Eat too much pumpkin pie, take too many pictures, laugh at all the stupid things, and just live in the moment. Once that clock strikes midnight, I don’t care what you do on Friday. Hell, I’ll probably pop my head into one or two stores just for the fun of it. But as long as it is Thanksgiving, you shouldn’t even be moving towards your local mall. Share this article, spark a discussion with your friends, and commit to keeping Thanksgiving, well, Thanksgiving. If each person that reads this influences at least ten people, by the time we have 100 views then that would be 1,000 people reached. Ripples turn into waves, and waves make an impact. Start a wave; make a change. Let those people that give up their holiday for your momentary materialistic joy have their Thanksgiving back too. Take it from someone who understands that the lasting memories from family holidays beat any passing deal any day. Don’t be that person that can’t see past the price tag and the ads; you’re more than that.
Photo Source: Reuters