Americans from coast to coast are busy sharing messages of thanks for their families and friends, bounties and opportunities. Naturally, I echo those thanks, but if you’ll indulge me dear readers, this Thanksgiving message is different. On this holiest day of gorging and plentiful bounty, I’m politely saying “No” to an over-sized helping of profiteering.
We are all familiar with the term “Black Friday”, the day after Thanksgiving which pits rabid shoppers against one another for a deal on widgets, flooding stores and emptying shelves to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The nomenclature of “Black Friday” suggests it marks the time of year where struggling brick and mortar retailers finally push their ledgers “into the black”, or to profit. For years, shoppers have accepted the ever-earlier opening of stores in competition against one another, until many camped out Thursday night in anticipation of a midnight opening.
This year, things are worse. This year, retailers have coined the term “Black Thursday” as many forego the holiday hiatus altogether.
This year, I say “No”.
With big box retailers struggling to turn a profit against online retailers and one another, it is no wonder they would jockey for any open advantage. But the burden of the rat race falls on the shoulders of on-site employees, not the decision makers in some far away corporate office, ironically celebrating themselves off the grid and with their kin. Cashiers and stock boys get dragged away from their loved ones earlier each year to chase the cash cow until the holiday means nothing at all.
Thanksgiving as we knew it has been canceled. For too many, today is just another work day.
I say “No” to “Black Thursday”.
This Saturday, I fully intend to make purchases from local mom and pop stores in celebration of “Small Business Saturday” (#shopsmall), and Monday I shall join the masses on Amazon and other online retailers for “Cyber Monday”. But I cannot – I will not – be culpable in separating workers from their families on Thanksgiving.
To be clear, no one should support any laws to force companies to stay closed on holidays. That is the antithesis of my message to you. Rather, I urge you readers to take an individual stand as consumers to refuse your business until tomorrow. If enough of us band together through individual decision making and the power of the free market, perhaps corporate big wigs in far flung bunkers will decide in the future that the long lines and great deals can wait until Friday.
Today, we celebrate and give thanks.