A Black Friday Rant: Turning Blue and Red . . .

Posted by in Melissa Galt, Mindset, Referral Marketing

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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.

A Black Friday Rant, Consumer Relationships, Consumer Incentives. Relationship Priorities, Keynote Speaker, Social Media Speaker, Marketing SpeakerHe 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.

Debt Crisis, Consumer Debt, Social Media Speaker, Relationship Speaker, Relationship Investing, Keynote SpeakerWhat 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 . . .

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12 Responses - Join the Discussion!

  1. When someone mentioned “Black Thursday,” I thought I’d scream! Then, at Thanksgiving dinner, I sat at the table with the 30-year-olds. The major topic of conversation was the 42-inch Samsung being offered at Best Buy at $199. And how many friends were going to be there by midnight when it opened. Melissa, I’ve lived and worked overseas all my life, and know what you’re talking about in Calcutta and Port-au-Prince. But you don’t even need to go that “poor” to realize how fortunate we are. Yet not one person mentioned “giving thanks” over the abundant meal. Sad.

    Reply to this comment
    • Melissa Galt

      Sharon,

      Well said and I agree especially since even being homeless here in the USA is better than shanty towns overseas . . . scary what has happened to our values.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Hugs, Melissa

      Reply to this comment
  2. Spot on, Melissa! We, too, had a wonderful family time with our sons and their families and were lucky that Isabel, on ‘second call’ as an anesthesiologist, was not called in to the hospital. We’re heading up to their place in NH for the rest of the weekend. Thanks for sharing, even rants!

    Reply to this comment
    • Melissa Galt

      Thanks Brian!

      Great to hear from you and glad Isabel got to enjoy the holiday.

      Hugs, Melissa

      Reply to this comment
  3. Doreen

    I can not agree more. I have worked in retail most of my life and every year they seem to take a little more away from the holidays and family time. i find this sad. I would love to go back to the blue law where everything was closed on Sundays and families spent time together. i am dreading that one day the holidays will just be erased completely. This saddens me greatly.

    Reply to this comment
    • Melissa Galt

      Doreen,

      I think you have a great point. And heard a lot about this lately with liquor now being sold on Sundays. What is wrong with the state of America and our values . . .

      Hugs, Melissa

      Reply to this comment
  4. I am with you on this one, too, Melissa. Is the $50 savings really that important? And, do we really need that new shiny object or that extra “thing” anyway?
    Of course, you and I know that the answer is simply “no”. The good news is that we’re not alone in our thinking and what I’m seeing is that many children of my daughter’s generation (she’s 23) are feeling the same way, too. Now we just have to work on that group in the middle :-)
    May your holiday season continue to be filled with the spirit celebration, gratitude and community.
    And BTW- who decided Xmas trees are supposed to go up BEFORE Thanksgiving?????????????? What happened to Fall and Harvest Decor?
    Wishing you well–

    Reply to this comment
    • Melissa Galt

      Thanks Nanette,

      Always great to get your thoughts. I think you are right. Gen Y does seem to have a different set of values, perhaps more clued in that we give them credit for. Oh and as I mentioned pretty soon we’ll be seeing Christmas trees in July with the ornaments they already sell! YIKES.

      Hugs, Melissa

      Reply to this comment
  5. I used to think that getting up at the “crack of stupidity” was interesting, if only to just watch everyone else make their bee-lines to whatever hot sale there was that year. But that was a long time ago, when getting up early to go to the store meant 6am.

    I gave up shopping with the masses because I have truly come to dislike it. It’s sad, because when I was young, I used to love shopping, especially with my mom.

    Today, the retailers are saying that if consumers want to shop, then let them shop. But I think they took it to the extreme. Opening late on Thanksgiving just to get a jump on the holiday shopping boggles the mind.

    Employees are taken away from their families in order to stand behind the counter to ring up sales for consumers looking for that great deal. So where does that leave us? With sales staff who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us can save a few bucks.

    So while we are standing in line waiting for the stores to open, let’s remember that these employees have to work long hours and are tired. They are away from their families and friends so they are a little grumpy. They might be a little surly or rude, but they have to put up with a lot of people who are probably treating them the same.

    Unfortunately, this might be the only time when they get an opportunity to make some money. However, if we treat this like we are all in it together, then maybe, it will make things go a little easier.

    I may not be happy about all this consumerism, but the least I can do is put a smile on my face and thank everyone who’s had to work this Thanksgiving holiday instead of spending it with their families. It’s the least I can do to make it a little brighter for all those employees who had to get up at the “crack of stupidity”.

    .

    Reply to this comment
    • Melissa Galt

      Thank you Susan,

      So glad you took the time to share your thoughts and certainly appreciate the “crack of stupidity.”

      I will remain hopeful that perhaps in years future the madness may be turned back and we can all once again enjoy the holiday for what it is meant to be . . . filled with Thanksgiving.

      Hugs, Melissa

      Reply to this comment
  6. Jill Hayworth

    Hi Melissa — RANT ON! I totally agree with you. It’s insane that, every year, they push Black Friday to be earlier and earlier. I get upset every year as we start thinking about Christmas time, and gift-giving because of the crazy amount of money that people spend on it (most don’t have it to start with). I refuse to partake. I am a small business owner (service-related, not retail) so I -always- shop locally, in small businesses so that they will be supported rather than the big-box stores (even if I pay a higher price).

    I get upset every year when we barely make it through Halloween and they are selling the fall decorations on sale. It’s still FALL, people! I don’t want to see Christmas items on sale in late october. And I don’t want to see my neighbor’s Christmas lights up a WEEK before Thanksgiving. REALLY?????? I could rant all day too. I’ve never been one to follow the sheep; I’m always bucking the system. This year, I left my Thanksgiving/fall decorations outside and I’m going to leave them there while I bask in the blessings we had with our families this past weekend. And only THEN, will I move on to Christmas.

    And what am I giving for Christmas gifts this year, you ask? HAND MADE placemats and napkins, made from beautiful fabrics that match each person’s personality and their decor. Even the grandkids (2 small girls) get NOTHING from the store. It’s hand-made curtains, or new pillows, or a cute bulletin board for their room. I’m disgusted every year at how many toys they get piled around the Christmas tree. I refuse to partake.

    AMEN to your thoughts Melissa!

    Reply to this comment
    • Melissa Galt

      Jill,

      Good to hear from you! Yes, it does seem like sooner or later it will just be one big grotesque shopping fest all year long celebrating no particular anything. And who decided that shopping is the way to celebrate anyway? I am betting that our forefathers weren’t nearly as commercialized. I’d like to get back to a simpler time. . .

      Hugs, Melissa

      Reply to this comment

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