I'll be the first person to admit that I'm a shopping addict. I spend way more time than I'd like to admit online shopping. I always know which stores have the best deals, and I have beautifully mastered the art of Ebates.
But, even though I'm a shopaholic, I assure you, I have absolutely no plans to leave my family on Thanksgiving to get a head start on the Black Friday sales.
The Friday after Thanksgiving has been the official start of the Christmas shopping season since the 1930s. It used to be a fun occasion. It meant scanning the sale flyers, creating a plan of attack, going out at midnight to wait in line and embracing the fact that it's acceptable to finally be in the Christmas spirit.
Now? Not so much fun.
It's become a day of fighting other sale-hungry shoppers for door-buster deals. It's about standing in lines the length of football fields and parking half a mile away from the entrance because it's the only spot available. It's getting a workout, running from store to store to make sure you get every deal on your list.
In my opinion, it sounds like a day from hell.
Black Friday is the Regina George of holidays. It is willing to go to any extreme, and it won't stop until it has used all of its power to outshine Thanksgiving and become the most popular holiday in the month of November.
Only losers spend the entire day celebrating with their families and giving thanks for everything they have. When the Black Friday sales begin in the early afternoon, all of the popular people separate from their relatives to accumulate more material items they probably don't need.
Do you want to be like Regina George? I guarantee she's going to be at the mall on Thanksgiving.
Stop trying to make Thanksgiving happen. It's not going to happen.
Instead of breaking wish bones at dinner and stuffing your face with more food than your stomach can physically hold while in the presence of your loved ones, forget about the national holiday and head to the mall. Because, honestly, who needs an entire holiday dedicated to giving thanks when there's a sale at Macy's?
In addition to the crazy Black Friday hours at Walmart, which has announced a five-day Black Friday event, Old Navy and Michaels will open at 4 pm on Thanksgiving. Best Buy and Toys "R" Us will open at 5 pm. Target, Macy's, Kohl's, Staples and Sears will open at 6 pm on Thanksgiving.
Honestly, who doesn't need to head to Staples to buy pens in bulk and Post-it notes on Thanksgiving day?
Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by Black Friday. I have a pretty good feeling nearly every retail worker in America would like to raise both hands in affirmation.
Retail workers have lost a large part of their holidays. Many deals are no longer limited to Friday, and a lot of preparation is necessary for Friday to run as smoothly as possible. So, employees who already have limited time with their families need to dine and dash at their holiday meals so they can make it to work on time.
Is it fair that they have to go in to work whether they like it or not? Don't they at least deserve the option to celebrate the holiday without interruption?
A daughter of a Kmart employee recently started an online petition and has more than 2,000 supporters who agree that her mother shouldn't have to work on Thanksgiving. The store will open its doors at 6 am on Thanksgiving and stay open for 42 hours straight, which will completely monopolize the holiday for many of its employees.
You know what Kmart had to say to her?
So, this Thursday, think about the real reasons we celebrate Thanksgiving. I'm not suggesting you boycott Black Friday completely, but maybe just to save the shopping for Friday — not Thursday.