I’m a little mad. Let me tell you all about it.
I will admit that I’ve been an active participant in Black Friday chaos in years past. I’ve stood outside Best Buy in 11 degree weather with friends and family waiting for the store to open and the madness to begin. In the “good old days” we had to get up and go to the store by about 2 or 3 in the morning to get a decent place in line. The last time I stood in the queue was a few years back and we had to go there around 8:30 on Thanksgiving evening to get our place and wait for 5 AM when the store would open.
Now, the Black Friday, our national day of worship for the god Mammon is encroaching on our Thanksgiving celebration even a little more. In Sioux City, and I suspect in most places around the country, the stores are opening at midnight – just as Thanksgiving officially ends. So now, if you are going to get the “doorbusters” at most stores, you will have to be in line in the middle of the afternoon.
I know, I’m old. But Thanksgiving was one of my favorite days as a child. We got together with family. We ate. Then, we snacked. Then we ate again. Then had dessert. Then nibbled. Then ate. Then, we watched a little football and usually went out in the yard to play a little football. It was a day for family. And as best I knew there was not a store in Cedar Rapids or Taichung or Orlando (or Tampa – we sometimes went there to visit family) that was open.
Gradually, commercialism has turned Thanksgiving from a time of family fun to a respite before the shopathon begins.
And I hate it.
And that has nothing to do with the fact that I live 3/4 of a mile from a mall and I cannot go anywhere on Friday without sitting in big city style traffic. That adds to the aggravation, but it goes beyond that. I believe that we are losing something wonderful as we yield more and more of our culture to commercialism’s orgiastic celebrations.
When I was younger, we used to bemoan the increasing commercialization of Christmas. Now, though, the American God of Money is now working to steal Thanksgiving from us as well.
Enough! Maybe its time we bypass the deals and say that Thanksgiving is not for shopping or sitting in line at the local big box store. It is for giving thanks and sharing a meal and enjoying family. Is there money can buy that is worth giving up my Thanksgiving holiday to stand in line for? I say no.
This is more than just nostalgia. Thanksgiving WAS that wonderful! And I resent the attempt to deface this holiday by encroaching more and more on the day.
Now, I’ve got to go get ready to deep fry that turkey.