No one wants to admit it, except maybe the crazies at Fox News, but there really is a War on Thanksgiving. The holiday is supposed to be a celebration of the survival and bountiful harvest of the Pilgrims who migrated to America and a chance for families to reconnect with each other and reflect is under brutal siege by those who worship the gods of mammon. Follow me below the squiggle for details.
Last year the lunatics at Fox News, who for years have been hyperventilating about the supposed war on Christmas tried to insinuate that there was a war on Thanksgiving being waged by the very 47% who were godless hippies who hated America. While that statement was and still is ridiculous on its face, they do have a point about a war being waged on Thanksgiving. But it's being waged by big box retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and other major chain stores to push up the beginning of the orgy of retail bacchanalia otherwise known as Black Friday. These stores are now pushing Black Friday sales into Thanksgiving night itself, and those who haven't moved up the start of Black Friday into Thanksgiving night are now opening their doors at midnight. The CEO's of these retailers claim that consumer demand is causing them to open ever earlier, but consumers have a plethora of choices to shop these days, and in most cases as long as they have an internet connection and a computer or smartphone, they don't even have to leave the house. Nevertheless, I personally have seen people pitched out in tents on Thanksgiving day waiting in line just to get a 32 inch flat screen TV for $99 or that iPad 3 for $399.00.
But not everyone is excited about this development. While some retail workers don't mind working the extra overtime, a few of them are livid at the fact that management is forcing them to give up holiday time they would normally spend with their families, and a few of them have even signed petitions requesting that these stores respect the families of their retail workers.
In addition, these stunts encourage a lot of loutish behavior on behalf of shoppers, who sometimes end up fighting each other over some gift they want to buy. Last year a woman actually pepper sprayed other shoppers who tried to get an Xbox that was on sale. And in some areas some crooks held up shoppers waiting in line at gunpoint and robbed them.
Is this what we really want to give up Thanksgiving for?
Now I'm not against shopping or getting good deals, but there is plenty of time between now and Christmas Day to get a good deal on that prized gift for yourself our your loved ones. But if you do have money burning a hole in your pocket and feel the need to shop after Thanksgiving, please do so on Small Business Saturday. Support your local merchants, who probably have the gifts you want for the holidays plus support your local community at the same time.