This Thanksgiving I enjoyed a wonderful celebration with friends, BUT the son of these same friends had to leave the family celebration by five o’clock for a nap because he had to be on the road back to Atlanta by seven o’clock so he could be at his job at Best Buy by eleven o’clock for their obscene midnight opening.
He had spoken with a friend of his earlier in the day who had driven by the same Best Buy parking lot and reported that she witnessed tents set up and people spending their Thanksgiving holiday camped out waiting for Black Friday. This makes me BLUE. It impacted all of us last night when he had to take off early and I know he would rather have stayed.
What kind of society do we live in that we have become so consumed with shopping for things that no one needs, with money all too few really have, that we’ll give up the precious time we have to GIVE THANKS and spend it camped in a retailers parking lot??
I find this appalling. I am one that protested retailers opening at such obscene hours. For the last two decades I have spent a good deal of time buying goods to make homes more comfortable, more beautiful, more personal, and more functional. I understand those needs. My work has had a profound impact on the lives of my clients and I am proud of that. Yet the level of consumerism we face today is tearing at the fabric of our relationships. It is pushing us down a very slippery slope of misguided priorities, forgotten friendships, increased consumer debt (are you seeing RED yet?), and more.
What if we did something radical and boycotted all retailers until the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend? What if we decided to allow all Americans two days of rest and time to give thanks for the incredible abundance that each of us has living in the United States of America. (Oh and if you doubt this, then travel a bit overseas from your armchair. Check out the slums of Calcutta, the shanty towns in Africa, the tent cities in Haiti.)
Thanksgiving is a time to look closely at the blessings in our lives instead of allowing our usual short sightedness and focus on lack that too often impairs our good fortune. We each have far more than we realize and the greatest gifts of all are those of relationship and fellowship with others.
Don’t allow a “break down the door special,” a midnight opening, or a “limited time only” to get in the way of time with family and friends that you will never have again. Rekindle priorities for a life of abundance and blessings far greater than any “thing” can ever bring you. Reawaken to the priorities of your heart, the priorities of relationships with other human beings in real time.
Realize that next year, they’ll probably just skip Thanksgiving all together and go straight to Black Friday. After all if retailers regularly hold Christmas in July, what is to stop them from creating Black Friday on Halloween!?
Please share your thoughts on BLACK FRIDAY and this year’s openings by retailers at midnight on Thanksgiving Day . . .