November 29, 2013 – There’s an ongoing joke in my family that if the slightest thing goes wrong anytime on December 25, whether it involves dropping a fork on the floor, bumping into someone’s chair, or having your cell phone ring during dinner, the person responsible is told, “Great, now you ruined Christmas.”
That same message should go out to the retailers across the country regarding Thanksgiving.
If you made it through the turkey and pumpkin pie yesterday without leaving the dinner table early to shop, I applaud you. It may not have been easy since many retailers have done everything in their power to lure you away from the family table (and the Trivial Pursuit tournament that follows dinner in my family) to snag the deals they claim to offer.
What prompts people to camp outside of stores, or worse yet, shop on Thanksgiving evening, is beyond me. So much for giving thanks. Unless you are giving away a large flat screen television or computer, I won’t consider shopping on Thanksgiving, and even then I probably wouldn’t do it. I don’t have a death wish to mingle with crazy shoppers or sales clerks who are forced to work on a family oriented and supposedly non-commercial holiday.
I prefer the appeal of Cyber Monday, and the retailers who place their Black Friday deals online prior to Thanksgiving. I finished my Christmas shopping last week and never visited a store.
Still, an estimated 195 million Americans make Black Friday part of their holiday tradition. If that is what makes you happy, go for it. The problem is retailers get greedier each year. It used to be that stores opened at 6 a.m. on Friday morning. Then they moved it up to midnight. Now, it’s 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, which means that many workers will have to miss a Thanksgiving meal with their families to get to the store and prepare for the crowds (that I hope don’t arrive).
I haven’t seen a Black Friday bargain yet that would make me change my mind. All of this Black Friday talk just charges people up and makes them believe they are getting the best deal. It’s been reported in several publications this week alone (including The Wall Street Journal) that Black Friday isn’t necessarily the best time to shop, anyway. The best deals often come deeper in December, especially if holiday sales start to slump.
That is something a retailer is never going to tell you.