Question: How will you spend the 24 hours following your Turkey Day meal this year?
More questions: Will you stay home and avoid stores throughout the Thanksgiving Day weekend? Will you be up and out the door as soon as you can to get in line for whatever store has the sales from which you want to benefit? Do you have a family tradition to leave the house after the food has settled and go into the stores, credit cards a-blazin’? Or none of the above?
“The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of America's Christmas shopping season since 1952, although the term ‘Black Friday’ did not become widely used until more recent decades.” That would explain why I don’t remember any of this hoopla from my childhood. However, eventually, I got caught up in the shopping excitement like so many others.
It seems to have become the proverbial snowball rolling down the hill. It has impacted households around the country. The Thanksgiving Day meal has, in some homes, adjusted to when it’s served, based on when the shoppers in the house want to leave to get in line for when the stores open, or to go to those stores that now open on Thanksgiving night. Is there a right or a wrong to this?
A friend and I were discussing all this recently. We agreed there are three groups of people on Thanksgiving. First, there are those who want nothing to do with any store before the Monday after Thanksgiving. Most of the folks I know fall into this category. Second, there is a need for some to bundle up (at least in this neck of the woods), head out to claim a spot in line, waiting for those magical doors to open, regardless of what time that might be. I don’t know a lot of people willing to do that. I certainly would not do that. It never appealed to me. Finally, there is the household who treats this event as a family function. Everyone pops into the family SUV, heads to wherever it is they’re targeting and pulls into a parking stall; at least one individual remains inside the vehicle. In shifts, family members claim a spot in line, trading that spot when the weather becomes too much for them with the warm and cozy family member in the car. Or, they merely go to the stores that are open and together, they shop “…til they drop!” I actually know someone who will leave the house at night with her sisters, and in grand tradition, they hit all the stores that ARE open. They may shop until the wee hours of the morning, but it’s something they’ve come to love doing together. Once again, no thank you.
I will admit, however, once upon a time, when nothing opened until Friday morning, I would get up, shower and head to Perkins before 6 a.m. I’d have all the ads with me and while eating a scrumptious breakfast, I’d run through them. Then one year, I said “Enough!” No real desire to do that any longer. I still, however, love going out and shopping on that day at some point. It’s the Christmas kid in me.
When I was a little boy, we had Thanksgiving dinner, watched the football game for that day, and then crashed with whatever movie the networks were showing that night. I remember getting sick one Thanksgiving night, and it took me years before I could eat turkey again. I don’t remember any talk of this shopping frenzy during those years.
Let me wish you a Happy Thanksgiving now. Next week I may be too eager to start my Christmas columns in full force! Ho, Ho, H…!
Time’s up! See you next week!