I’m going to try and keep this blog post short and to the point as much as possible. I never realized how passionately I felt about the subject until a few years ago, so let’s back it up…..
Personally, I have never gone Black Friday shopping. I love a deal as much as the next person, don’t get me wrong. I love the thrill of a good thrift, I research, and price compare almost any purchase over $20 (for real lol), and I take pride in stretching my budget (a nice way of calling myself cheap).
With that said you would think BF would be right up my alley, but I know I would not be able to handle the chaos and crowds and it just wouldn’t be worth all the anxiety. I don’t have any huge issues with the concept, as long as it keeps to Black FRIDAY.
My problem started when it gradually (or not so) creeped its way into Thanksgiving. Growing up and even into high school it was always kept to Friday. Most places opened at 5am, then it became, 3am, midnight, then before you knew it stores were opening at 5pm Thanksgiving Day.
My mom has had to work a second part time job at Kohl’s for the past 11 years or so. Over the course of those years the shift from Black Friday into “Gray Thursday” became blatantly apparent. We started eating earlier in the day, so she would be able to make the meal, but was always left either packing her dessert to go or she was scarfing it quickly before the rest of us were ready just to be able to have some before heading off for her shift. It always made me sad.
One year, when one of my nieces was quite little (I want to say second grade?) she even wrote a paper in school about how she wished her Nana didn’t have to leave Thanksgiving to go to work at the store. If that isn’t telling, I don’t know what is. Kids notice these things.
So, while this has always been something that bothered me, there was one thing that REALLY set me off one year. A fellow blogger that I followed for years was proudly posting all over social media about the all the great deals she just scored, and it was only 5 o’clock on Thanksgiving Day!! I was completely triggered. I’m going to be completely honest here, I replied to her post and I was not the nicest about it. I should have either said nothing at all (which is usually the best route to take) or I could have approached it differently. I did however feel the need to shine some light on it though. I truly think she was blissfully unaware of how it effects other people. This particular woman had mentioned before that she went straight from her parent’s house to a stay at home wife/mom. She does run a small sales business and her blog from home, so I’m not claiming she doesn’t work, but there is no way you can compare that to an outside job that could potentially REQUIRE you to work on a holiday. It just isn’t the same.
I’m not knocking her situation, good for her that she doesn’t have to work outside the home and can make her own hours, but that in turn had made her unaware of how others may not have that luxury.
Every time you shop on Thanksgiving you are keeping those workers from their homes and families. And for what? So you can score that deal 6 hours earlier? Can your big TV, gaming console, and toys not wait just a few more hours so that those people can be with their families? Is it really THAT important that it can’t wait?
There are so many people that we need to work everyday of the year regardless of what day it is. Doctors, nurses, firemen, various staff in hospitals and other care settings, 911 operators, police….we NEED them. But do we really need that cashier at Kohls?
I think it got me so riled up because every year that I am with my family for the holidays I am so grateful. I spent years clamoring to get the day off, eating and running to my shift, and stressing over the schedule coming out for a month. Of the 8 Thanksgivings that The Boy and I have been together I think he has been able to attend 3 (maybe 4?) times due to his job as well. Missing out on these times make you eternally grateful for when you can be there. Some people have a job or lifestyle where they have NEVER had to miss out, so they simply don’t understand it. That’s why felt compelled to write this. Maybe someone who has never thought about it before might give it a second thought.
I also wanted to add that my current job guarantees me all the major holidays off and I could not be more grateful. It’s a relief to not have to worry about it every year and that I get this precious time with my family.
In closing, can we all just agree to keep Black Friday to Friday? K thanks!
I hope you all have a safe (and tasty!) Thanksgiving