Stop Black Thanksgiving Shaming

Stop Black Thanksgiving Shaming

A Case for Black Thanksgiving


I have a confession to make.

We went to Black Friday. 

On Thursday.

How could you? That day is for family? I'm so disappointed? Boycott!!!

Facebook was yelling at me all day today. Well, not at me, personally. But at anyone who ever went to a Walmart on Thanksgiving, ever. Everyone had something to say about it. So what's the big deal?

First of all, we did spend our Thanksgiving with our family. All day we were together. We eat dinner at about three or four in the afternoon. Then we stay and have dessert. There's no loss of family if we are going home for the night but happen to have Nana watching the kids so we can sneak off to Walmart for a really good deal. We were there from 6:30PM to 7:30PM. Then we went home and watched the holiday classic, The Conjuring. See, family all up in here.

Second of all, beginning the Black Friday deals on Thursday evening staggers the crowds, in my opinion. There isn't the pressure to get there at the crack of dawn in the cold, lined up around the block. Now people can go to these sales fat and happy on a full belly to shop for deals. And then sleep in on Friday morning and have breakfast with their families. You know, more family stuff.

Third, more shoppers means more money going around. I walked in to Walmart last night and saw a sea of people, all with money they were happily spending on other people. Or on themselves. Either way, money was being spent. People had jobs. The people spending the money have jobs. The people ringing up the five TV's in one transaction had jobs. It's a jobby-job world in there. 

But, what about those workers? Don't they have family? Why are they not allowed to be with their families? A blogger I follow over at Slap Dash Mom posted on her status update something I happen to agree with. She wondered why it was okay for policemen, firemen, doctors, and people in the military to work, but cashiers shouldn't be expected to work. It's a valid observation. And a lot of people request to work on holidays because of the extra pay if that's what their place of employment offers. 

Fourth, I went to the Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving at Target last year with my aunt. We waited in a line that wrapped around the building just to get into the building. Why? We weren't looking for a specific deal or anything. We just wanted to see what the hype was all about. And we had already finished dinner, it was like 9 o'clock at night, we just want to see what was up! A lot of people do this just for the spectacle. I, for one, love seeing the mall during the Christmas season all decorated and bustling. Some people hate it. I happen to think it's pretty cool. It's for the spectacle. 

Fifth, as I said above, I went with my aunt last year and my husband last night. For some, Black Friday is a family tradition that has now been moved up to Thursday. Some of my friends get together with their entire family and go searching all over town for the best deals. Then they end their long night with breakfast and sleep in all morning after their shopping extravaganza. Some of them don't even spend money. It's just fun for them to go with the women in their family to hunt for the best deals. 

So don't be sad, disappointed, enraged, or boycott crazy. If you don't like the idea of going to sales after Thanksgiving dinner, then don't go. But don't make others feel guilty about it.

Let's all boycott Black Thanksgiving shaming! Boycott! BOYCOTT! JUST SAY NO TO BLACK THANKSGIVING SHAMING!

Is Black Thanksgiving a thing? I just started calling it that but I heard this morning on the news that Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving is now called Grey Thursday. Stupid. The reason they call Black Friday "Black" is because it brings all of the companies out of the red and into the black before the year is over. Who thought "Grey Thursday" would be a good idea? I'll tell you who. Someone who doesn't know why it was called Black Friday in the first place.

I vote for Black Thanksgiving.

And remember, folks...JUST SAY NO TO BLACK THANKSGIVING SHAMING!

20 comments:

  1. I love this! And agree with everything you said!! I didn't go out because I work 3rd shift in the hospital, so I missed both Black Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I still managed to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family, though. :)

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    1. Good for you! And thank you for working at the hospital! I'm sure everyone there appreciated it.

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  2. The thing that got to me about all of that Black Thanksgiving shaming was how many people complained about Wal-Mart specifically. Wal-Mart has ALWAYS been open on Thanksgiving. Since they changed to being open for 24 hours (more than a decade ago) the only hours during the year that they are closed is on Christmas itself. Those Wal-Mart employees would be working if they had special sales starting on Thursday night or not.

    I know a lot of families who do their Black Thanksgiving/Friday shopping as a family event, too.

    We really need to stop shaming people in general on the internet...but especially over shopping day choices.

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    1. That is such a good point! Yes, 24 hour locations are open anyway! And Walgreens, too! It has been open on holidays forever. Walgreens is even open on Christmas. Let's riot!

      I agree. How about we just let people do whatever they want to do.

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  3. I agree. Shop when you can afford it. I worked at a convenience store for a few years for extra money and worked on Thanksgiving several times. No one seemed to care or thank me or be offended that I had to work, they were more concerned with getting cigarettes and gas. My family knew I had to work and we just made sure meals were finished before I had to go in.

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    1. Plenty of families do that! And what about people who don't celebrate Thanksgiving? Should they be out the opportunity to work?

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  4. I totally agree with you! Plus, if you think about it, most people in retail don't get paid extra for working holidays or paid time off or any of that. So if their place of employment is closed, that is less money for the employees paycheck and they are already making minimum wage (or close to it) so they really need as many hours as they can get. Also, don't forget all of the people who don't celebrate holidays so they don't mind working on the holiday. When I was working, my employer usually had a sign up sheet anyway for people who wanted to work on the holidays. That being said, I did not go shopping on Thursday because we hosted Thanksgiving and I had been ccoking all day so by the time our guests went home, I was tired!

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    1. That's so true, Sunshine! I would usually work on a Thursday evening but the gym was closed so no money for me! Of course, I would rather be at home but what about those people who depend on that income but don't get holiday pay? They depend on those hours for regular working hours and a paycheck.

      Believe me, I don't always go to Black Thursday or Friday. It's rare I even buy electronics, honestly. But this year and last year we decided to do it. Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving!

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  5. I have to admit I think it's ridiculous. If people want to work, great. The issue I have with all of this holiday shopping madness is the fact that there are so many out there who do not want to work but are forced to do so by retailers who only care about profit. Members of emergency personnel are doing what they do in order to keep us alive and safe. Why is buying a new TV or Xbox so important you have to have it that day?

    I don't think the criticism is so much shaming as it is giving people a reality check. This early shopping madness is starting to happen much sooner. Our priorties are skewed. We value shopping more than we value a day off with family (though in your case you did spend time with family). We, those of us who disagree with retail stores being open early, should not be accused of shaming or being negative just because it bothers someone who is shopping on those days. Just my two cents.

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    1. Thank you for commenting and I appreciate your point of view. My using "shaming" as a term was really a half joke since everything on the internet seems to be "shamed" or "bullied" these days.

      Many people are "forced" to work on Thanksgiving. Walgreens has been doing it for years. They're even open on Christmas. As a commenter above said, Walmart has had 24 hour locations for the last ten years. They would have had people working in those location anyway. What's the difference if there are sales involved? And I also worked for an airline that was open 365 days a year. When I signed on I understood I was signing up for possibly working on a holiday. If I wasn't cool with that, I could rearrange my schedule and/or trade with those who wanted to work a holiday. If I was still bothered by the whole thing, I had the choice of not deciding to work there. I knew up front what I was getting into.

      As for the "reality check," everyone's reality is different.

      I also want to apologize if you were offended that I was accusing anyone of shaming and being serious. I was just being sarcastic.

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  6. I know this is kind of not the point, but I had to add to the "reality check" conversation.

    I totally agree with you that it is silly to gripe at people for shopping when they could be spending time with family. Honestly...Thanksgiving is not a sacred day. It means different things to different people and some don't even celebrate it at all. Also, I don't see Black Thanksgiving/Friday etc as an affront to family time. I hate crowds but a shopping excursion with family could be fun for some people. There is nothing bad about wanting to give gifts to people you love, and even better if you pay less for it! If you hate that people don't do Thanksgiving the way you think they should, then that is your first world problem.

    That being said, what I dislike about Black Whatever Day isn't that it is a poor way to spend a holiday. What I dislike is that it reveals the us-focused consumerism that we accept as normal, and this time of year is when we indulge in that more than any other time. It is in these few days that the volcano of our year-round spending habits erupts into full view of everyone around us. I do not and never will participate for the following, very different reasons.

    1) It is an excuse to be financially irresponsible. I know many who buy with money they don't have and start the new year with credit card debt. To buy "because it's a good deal" isn't okay if you can't afford it to begin with. I can't afford it to begin with.

    2) It tempts us to be okay with being a little selfish. I know many who spend a lot of their money on gifts for themselves, and rarely on anything they actually need. We let ourselves do it because it's cheap, and that reinforces the idea that there is nothing wrong with spending our money on ourselves instead of thinking about #4.

    3) We become resistant to thinking about what our money is really supporting. The temptation to get a good deal on these specific days eclipses the reality of what it means for others year round. You don't have to look very hard to find that many major brands have unethical practices, unfair wages, environmental damage, etc. in their supply and production chain. Yet the advertised sales are so tempting, we find it easy to dismiss that.

    4) For a few very expensive days, we forget about the real good we could be doing. Having disposable income is a luxury, and I strongly believe it comes with a responsibility. Again, I don't think it is bad to buy your family great gifts. However, I do believe we are disproportionately generous with ourselves versus charitable toward others. By NOT participating in Black Whatever Day, I am better able to keep the perspective that I want to have. I could spend $100 to make a wealthy kid happier or I could spend $100 to save a kid's life. I don't want to forget for a moment which choice I prefer to make.

    Sorry for the soap-boxy-ness! My simple point is that the issues touching Black Thanksgiving and Black Friday are more than lost family time or having to work on a holiday. People who are primarily concerned about those issues probably don't realize how blessed they are.

    So I say, shop if you want too, if you can truly afford it, and if know for sure your purchases are congruent with your moral and ethical views. If you don't want too, fine. If you can't afford it, it's not smart in the long run but, whatever. And if you haven't or don't care to consider how your actions relate to your moral and ethical views, you're either choosing to be ignorant and are not as humanitarian or charitable as you like to think you are...or you truly believe in every-person-for-themselves. Which is why I think those who ascribe to the latter reveal themselves on Black Friday like no other.

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    1. Now THAT is an argument. And as you can see, my blog post wasn't that deep. Very surface. Thanks for adding this point of view. It goes beyond just, "I'M MAD ABOUT IT! I DON'T LIKE IT! SO YOU SHOULDN'T EITHER!" mentality.

      I welcome your soap-boxy-ness. I know my way around a soapbox. ;-)

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  7. I have to disagree with you, when you sign up to police officer, nurse etc. you know that you are more than likely going to work the holidays. I work at a news station and know that I have to work, but I love the holiday pay. The stores use to open at midnight, but 5 or 6 is bit much. Now you have Gray Thursday, there is no more Black Friday. What happen to enjoying your meal, watching football and enjoying the family.

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    1. I see your point but I was talking to my sister who had to work Friday and all weekend. She was thankful for Thursday openings otherwise she had no time to shop. It's all perspective and situation, I guess.

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  8. Every family should do what works for them! Who cares what others chose to do on Thanksgiving. If it works for you, then go for it. I am personally not a fan of the big sale days.

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    1. Exactly! Do what you want! Don't like it, don't do it! I don't even go out every year because most years I'm not buying big ticket items or electronics.

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  9. My attitude is kind of "live and let live" when it comes to all this holiday shopping mess. We went out of town to a casino specifically to avoid it plus all the holiday hype. When you don't have a lot of family around, Thanksgiving is a tough time, I think it would be tough if our kids hadn't able to be with us because they had a retail job where they weren't able to have the time off. Fortunately, we all have jobs where it isn't an issue. I think the retail machine is out of control enough and this Grey Thursday/Black Friday thing just throws them into overdrive. I don't chose to participate in it, but I don't try to shame people who want to. #SITSSharefest

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    1. Good! See? If you don't like it, it's perfectly reasonable not to take part. But then don't make others feel bad for doing it.

      Thanks for visiting!

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  10. As someone that had to work all day during every holiday as a nurse, and knows how much it sucked, yeah I understand. Having Thanksgiving off with my family was awesome. Now that I work retail so I can have more flexibility with my kids schedules, it is just as bad. Why should I( and this is just a general I) have to give up being home with my family so you can shop and great deals? When I worked as a nurse, I helped save lives. That is much more important than saving a few dollars. So while I think you have some valid points, I have to respectively disagree.

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I respect your opinion, especially as someone who has actually had to work during the holidays.

      "Why should I( and this is just a general I) have to give up being home with my family so you can shop and great deals?"

      You don't. As someone commented above, Walmart and other stores have been open on Thanksgiving for the last ten years. They would require workers anyway. What's the difference between whether they're having sales or not? They'd be open anyway.

      And, again, you don't have to work there if you don't want to. America, Black Thanksgiving, they're both about choice. If I don't feel like going out to the sales, which is actually often the case, then I won't. If I don't want to work for a company that may require working on Thanksgiving, then I won't apply. You almost always know it will be a possibility ahead of time. As I said above in the comments section, I worked for an airline that was open 365 days a year. Part of my employment required that I be okay with working on a holiday. And at the time, it wasn't as big of a deal because of the flexibility they offered elsewhere. It's all about choice. Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything.

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