Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'll shop if I want

I expect I'll take some crap for this...which is fine, I've been taking crap from all kinds of places for months now (hence the long absence) so I'm used to it by now. 

I keep seeing post after post about the evil retailers who plan to be open for shopping on Thanksgiving Day. That's right - the Black Friday deals that used to start at 5 am, then started at midnight, are now going to be starting much earlier. Stores like Macy's, Wal-Mart, and Toys R Us will be open for business before the last dish is washed from your holiday feast. Some will be open all day.

This is, apparently, bothersome to a lot of people. They feel it disrupts the "sanctity" of Thanksgiving, a holiday that is supposed to be about giving thanks for family and friends, and spending time with the people you cherish most.

Which, is fabulous. In theory. But, you know, life happens.

Each time I see someone post about how awful it is that stores will be open, and how retail is "messing with their holiday" I wonder - is that person even affected? I mean - unless you or a close family member work in retail, why would my shopping on that day have any impact on you or your holiday?

Then I wonder how they feel about how other families are affected by businesses and services being open on holidays. They say people shouldn't shop, so retail employees can be off. Does that mean we should also avoid using any service that forces employees to work a holiday?

What if they had a fire at their home on Thanksgiving Day? Or got sick because they didn't cook the turkey properly? Would they refuse to call 911 because they didn't want to support emergency services being open on Thanksgiving?

What about all the people who travel on Thanksgiving? Would they not stop to get gas? Or call roadside assistance? Are they perfectly happy sleeping in the airport so that the crew can go home for dinner? But wait - if the airport is open there has to be security. So they'd have to go to a hotel... Wait!! Then those people will have to work.

But those are "necessary" workers, right? That's fine....just don't support frivolous, unnecessary holiday work.

What about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade? An estimated 50 million people watch the parade. What a bunch of louses! They've been killing Thanksgiving for years, making all those extra police and fire fighters and EMTs along the parade route work a holiday. What about all the celebrities and performers and TV hosts and crew who work the parade? Don't forget the people in the parade, marching and dragging those balloons. Those Macy's employees have to volunteer for that gig. At least those working in the stores will get paid!!

We can't forget football...I assume everyone worried about the sanctity of Thanksgiving has been boycotting the NFL, as well? For years, its been killing the holiday for all of the players, coaches, stadium employees, and TV personnel who are stuck working instead of being home with their families.

Obviously, we can't forget the most important of all...soldiers who are stationed on bases around the country, and around the world, working to protect our freedom to eat turkey and bitch about retail hours. So when you think about it - the very fact that you're posting in the first place means you're killing someone's holiday.

Yes, yes, yes...I get it. Certain jobs are critical and require people to be at work, even on a holiday. My point is, those people and their families have adjusted. They've figured out that it doesn't matter what day you eat the turkey, or when you sit at the table together. They celebrate on the weekend, or the week before, or the next month - whenever they can.

The point is, to celebrate and appreciate what you have, how lucky you are, and remember to say thanks.

Truthfully, if you haven't figured that out, you're doing the holiday wrong anyway.

PS - Yes, I've read that some employees asked for the time off and were denied. I haven't taken a day off (other than scheduled holidays) in November or December in...well...never. When I was in high school and college, I worked retail. When I worked for a health insurance company I didn't have enough seniority to get the time. Since I went to work in property & casualty insurance 13 years ago, I haven't been able to take the time because this is our busiest renewal season. Do I get the holidays? Yes. I'm lucky. But I still miss out on certain parts of the season because I work a full day on Christmas or New Years Eve. I can't take extra time around Thanksgiving, so travel is always out. So, anyone who is looking for sympathy simply because they have to work a regularly scheduled day anyway - this isn't the place to look.


  1. I'm with you. In fact, just to support those people and give thanks for them being there, it seems I'm going to Target at 8pm on Thanksgiving night with my SIL

    1. I'd totally go to Target that night, as long as there was no crowd. If there's a crowd, I'll shop online.

      That way I can help ruin the holiday for customer support and IT professionals, making $80ish dollars an hour.

  2. You will get crap for this.. but not from me.

    I'm with you. All the way. I do have a problem with the fact that shopping seems to get early and early every year... What's the purpose of a black Friday?

    But, that's my only problem.

    1. Actually - I can answer that! It's called "Black" Friday because it's the official start to the holiday shopping season, which many retailers rely on to take them out of the "red" (losing money) and get them in the "black" (making money) for the end of the year.

      This year in particular, the shopping season is shorter. Thanksgiving is as late in the month as it can be, so the season is less than four weeks.

      In years like this, retailers need the jump start. Their accountants and actuaries will figure out if it is helpful. In a few years, when there's more time for shopping, I bet some will announce they're staying closed for their employees - when it's really just because the return for being open wasn't enough.

    2. I'm not sure how Thanksgiving is as late in the month as it can be this year.... it's always the last Thursday in November. And I did know about the "red" and "black" thing... but, the crazy shopping craze of it... It should just be Black Thursday... you see what I am getting at...

      Oh and just for the record, this year it's on the 28th, last year the 29th, the 24th in 2011, and the 25th in 2010.... so we are only really talking about a 4-5 day difference in shopping days. Retailers are NUTSO. And I don't think we'll have it back in the mid-20's until 2016.....

    3. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. Last year, November 1 was on a Thursday. That's as early in the month as the first Thursday can be, and when that happens, Thanksgiving falls on the 22. It did last year.

      This year, because the first was on Friday, we didn't have our first Thursday until the 7th. That means the fourth Thursday isn't until the 28th.

      According to that Thanksgiving date history, it's never any earlier than the 22th or later than the 28th.

      As to why retailers get crazy over a few shopping days - who knows? I shop for gifts all year. :)

  3. Voice of Reason (ALB Edition)November 15, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    I generally dislike that the "Christmas season" is expanding. It seems that Thanksgiving is just getting lost in there. In fact, it seems that it is approaching Halloween. It is a bit much.. and a bit stressful. Just let me have Thanksgiving.