Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving: Lost in the Shuffle

Steve, Stevie & I had a nice relaxing Thanksgiving since Deliverance and Josh invited us to their new place. Bonnie & Alan, good friends of ours, offered to rent them the house they are trying to sell, and at a big discount. Since Deliverance & Josh are in transition right now after moving back from Scotland and trying to find jobs, this will be a relief until either the house gets sold or Josh gets accepted for a church staff job somewhere (hopefully not too far).
I had thoughts, as I do every year, of the many family gatherings in past years, and all the things there have been to be thankful for. I think for most families that is still what they look forward to on Thanksgiving.
Although, for a lot of families, the itinerary for Thanksgiving Day has really changed since our grandparents' time. In order to "get in the black", retailers have always had their BIG sale ads come out on Thanksgiving morning, and many would spend the morning planning out their strategy for the next day, Black
Friday, but Red Friday for the consumer who on average don't get those purchases paid off until October. People make sure they are at their favorite stores as soon as the doors open so they can snatch up their products before the limited quantities are gone.
T his was how we did it up until around 20 years ago. Gradually, every few years, stores started having their sales earlier causing "camp outs" at the doors on Thanksgiving night. Well, now many stores are having pre-Black Friday sales, all day on Thanksgiving, when most stores used to be closed, tempting families to give up the Holiday and go from sale to sale.
I've never had much to say against the Black Friday sales other than there wouldn't be enough of a savings to entice me to fight the traffic, crowds and no parking spaces. But Thanksgiving Day sales DO get under my skin. Merchants are asking us to give up what this special day represents, which is to set that day aside from busy schedules and other activities, so that we can can set our mind on remembering and being grateful for our blessings, and hopefully to share it with friends and loved ones. Kind of like a Fast from our self-oriented lives.

I think merchants would prefer to do without Thanksgiving Day, as it interferes with getting the Christmas items out on the shelves earlier. I would love it if they moved Thanksgiving to October (and down-play Halloween, which is not a meaningful holiday anyway), then it wouldn't be obliterated by Christmas merchandising. I fear it is inevitable that some day Thanksgiving Day will get lost in the shuffle, but we each personally can decide to make it a day that's set apart anyway, if we really want.


Melissa said...

Yes, I know of a couple stores in our area that were open with 'early-bird' sales on Thanksgiving day.

I for one love thanksgiving and hope we keep the holiday for years and years to come.

ErinOrtlund said...

Yeah, that is awful--Thanksgiving shouldn't be spent shopping! :(

You might like Canada--the Thanksgiving here is at the beginning of October. But the Christmas stuff is out plenty early--WHY can't everyone at least wait until December? Christmas is not in November folks!

Susanne said...

I saw on the news that some people had been camped out at a Target store since Wednesday. It blows my mind.

We here in Canada, have our Thanksgiving in October and we don't have a "Black Friday" shopping day. Ours comes more on "Boxing Day", the day after Christmas. That's when huge markdowns are done. It is no longer a holiday for anyone in the retail industry.

Thanks for coming by my place today and leaving a comment. I know what you mean about not wanting to read stories and be reminded of things we used to be involved in before we knew the Lord. Praise God we are new creatures in Christ! Have a wonderful weekend!

Patriot said...

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Homemaker05 said...

Thanks so much for your visit on my blog! :) I love your "rant" on Thanksgiving! :) I agree... it is up to us to hold it special... even if the world decides not to!