When I was a kid, the month of November held a single holiday – Thanksgiving. And you know what we did during the weeks that led up to that day? We played in piles of leaves, enjoyed the crisp autumn temperatures, and looked forward to the end of the month when we’d get to see loved ones and eat delicious food until we felt we’d burst. Christmas wasn’t the focus in November and we had to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas tree and holiday decorations. I loved every second of it!
I’m not sure if anyone else shares the memories above, but November has certainly changed since then. Now, instead of enjoying the last weeks of fall and waiting for Thanksgiving, we glue our eyes to sale emails and Black Friday advertisements, listen to Christmas songs before Halloween decorations are removed, and look forward to the end of the month when we get to line up at all hours of the night in anticipation of door-busters and insane deals on crap that no one should ever want or need. Thanksgiving dinner? Being thankful for all that you have? What’s that? We’d rather get in fistfights with grannies at the mall over a big-screen TV!
Sears recently announced that they’ll be open on Thanksgiving this year, and people are already jabbering about the incredible deals that will be available. I’m sure this will start a chain reaction and we’ll probably see more stores doing the same thing to compete with Sears. Thanksgiving Day was already overlooked in favor of Black Friday and Christmas, but this is just ridiculous. Are we really that obsessed with sales to the point of skipping Thanksgiving Day altogether? If there’s ONE time of year that should be reserved for family gatherings, togetherness, and giving thanks, it’s Thanksgiving Day. Some things should be sacred, and having family time on a specified day of the year is one of those things. What about the retail employees who have to work on Thanksgiving Day for these blowout sales? Doesn’t it matter that they’d like to spend time with their families?
If you can’t resist Black Friday deals and you line up to fight crowds at the mall with your family on Thanksgiving Day, then I hope you’ll consider helping others and spreading goodwill while you’re at it. There are needy families out there who can’t afford the gas to get to the mall, let alone to eat a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner or to buy toys for their children to open on Christmas day. Some of them may be homeless and others could be holding on to their assets by a thread, but all would immensely appreciate aid of any sort. If you do your shopping before Thanksgiving, then consider picking up a few extra non-perishables to donate to a local food pantry, shelter, or drop-off donation box. Or, if you love to shop on Black Friday and you get all sorts of magnificent deals, then maybe you could drop off a couple extras at your local Toys for Tots (or you can click here for more donation ideas and how-tos). Whether you donate as an individual or donate in a business name, you’ll be making a HUGE difference!
This isn’t the first blog post in which I’ve expressed my distaste for the over-commercialized Christmas season, and I’ve gotten quite the reputation as a Scrooge or a Grinch because of it. Let me clear that up right now. It’s not that I hate Christmas, I just wish it would keep its pants on until the month of December and have the same feeling of goodwill that it had when I was younger!
Why are we so eager to skip over Thanksgiving to do some chaotic shopping? Why are consumers willing to hurt other people (by trampling, punching, or otherwise) just to get first crack at a sale item on Black Friday? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Shouldn’t the holiday focus be on goodwill instead of material goods? I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see less “BUY NOW” mentalities and more togetherness and generosity during the holiday season.
Are you running any promotions or donation programs that advocate goodwill this year? And what are YOU thankful for?