I will be busy tomorrow so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is a day set aside to give thanks for all our blessings. It’s not a religious holiday per se, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and even atheists can certainly give thanks, each in their own way.
It’s so sad that the pursuit of the almighty dollar has pushed its way into this special day. Stores will be open tomorrow, Thanksgiving, some as early as 6:00 am or possibly earlier to get as much of our money as they can before we spend it somewhere else. My guess is that 2012 may be the last time that stores practice any restraint at all.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m an entrepreneur at heart with many years of retail experience under my belt. There’s nothing wrong with doing your best to get your share of the consumer dollar. In fact, back in the ’70s I had a big customer who was open on Thanksgiving and my family spent several Thanksgivings in a motel in Southeast Missouri waiting for dad to get back from work. We were there all weekend and the kids enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool and mom enjoyed having the turkey dinner prepared and served by someone else. But that was the exception. It was a tradition with that particular retailer that went back many years.
Here’s the thing. Most Americans have a budget for Christmas. That’s what they’re going to spend. Whether the big box stores force everyone to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from now until December 24, or if they all get together and decide to be open from 9:00 – 5:00 Monday thru Friday, the spend isn’t going to change. Extending “black Friday” until Thanksgiving becomes “black Thursday” isn’t going to increase the total pie. But retailers, especially the big boxes have gotten the idea that they must get our money first before we spend it all. For that, they’re willing to sacrifice our national day of thanks on the altar of greed.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, with you family and friends, around the dining room table, in front of the television or the fireplace. Of course, many churches have a Thanksgiving service and that’s a great way to start the day. Don’t get sucked into the idea that the proper place to spend this special day is lined up for hours waiting for some store to open. Besides, prices will be lower later on and you won’t have to sleep on the sidewalk or fight the crowds.