Black Friday should stay on Friday!

Black Friday should stay on Friday!

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Only in America… do we set aside the fourth Thursday in November for the sole purpose of getting together with family and friends to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. A wonderful day of reflection, family and traditions. And, on the very next day, we put all that aside to get up before dawn for the pure excitement of finding the best deals on new stuff… and God help those who get in our way.  Here are a couple videos of this fun-filled day to get you in the Christmas spirit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O6IMYSSs7c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=mnu6yZKo7u8&NR=1 (first 30 sec)

What started out as a day to mark the beginning of the shopping season for Christmas has turned into a day of greed, frenzy and bad behavior. We can partly blame this behavior on stores that advertise an $800 TV on sale for $250, but then only stocks three of them. Companies advertise like this to entice people to choose their store over another store and they only stock a few because it is a terrible business plan.  The store loses money on the first few customers, but makes money on the next 2 Gazillion shoppers who are in the shopping mood.

Author’s Point #1: Ten years ago a few stores opened up at 5 a.m. to jump start this big day of shopping. Two years ago many stores opened at midnight.  This year many stores opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Restaurants are also opening at similar hours to accommodate shoppers. Because companies see more opportunity for making a buck, hundreds of thousands of store employees are no longer able to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday. Do you think any of them are able to request the busiest day of the year off? Is anyone thinking about the workers who have no say in the matter of when the stores open?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwJWe_DMfGc

Author’s Point #2: After watching the videos above (and hundreds others like it), I am wondering if this is what Abraham Lincoln had in mind when he declared Thanksgiving a national holiday: people camping out in lines for a week to get a good spot in line, people stampeding in stores like cattle to save a few dollars (a Wal-Mart Employee was killed in 2008 after being trampled by customers – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqeY7j5TuuE) and people getting into fist fights over merchandise.

Maybe it’s just me, but we might want to turn the clocks back on this one. I think 5 a.m. on Black Friday is early enough. Let’s value the traditions of Thanksgiving and the lives of store employees over our need to buy more stuff. After all, Cyber-Monday provides the same deals with no lines. I would like to add that as a last-minute shopper, stores continue sales well into December – no joke!

Your Turn:
1) What is your opinion?
2) It’s possible that I am wrong on this. After all, three NFL football games were played on Thanksgiving this year. If football is okay, shouldn’t shopping be okay?
3) I wouldn’t end tailgating at football games because 5% of the fans get too drunk and act like complete idiots. So, why pick on Black Friday because 5% of these shoppers cause trouble?

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