Thanksgiving Traditions As a child of the 70s, 80s and maybe even in the 90s, holidays were revered. Stores weren’t open on Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter. Those were the times when you saw family you hadn’t seen all year. It was a time when you spent days preparing menus and a whole day cooking to then sit at a table with all the adults and children (or even have a kiddie table). Thanksgiving kicked off the holiday season and it was a day where you sat in a trance after that big meal in front of the television to watch football or have football watch you.
In our home, Thanksgiving brought uncles and aunts and cousins (even family friends we gave the title to) to prepare pasteles while salsa and merengue played throughout the house. The smell of sofrito and roast pork flooded every corner of the house. Huge pots of arroz con gandules cooked on stoves while the smell of aaroz con dulce and flan wafted through the kitchen. And the noise of a blender mixing coquito could be heard barely over the din of family bonchinchando from room to room.
There was no time to shop or think of shopping. We didn’t even talk about the deals that we could get the next day. We danced and sang and talked sports and kids played games.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, where that holiday spirit is all about sales and deals and shopping. Traditionally, Black Friday kicked off the holiday shopping with early morning hours. This year, Toys R Us opened at 5:00 PM, Wal-Mart and Target at 8:00 PM, Sears at 6:00 PM, and Kmart opened at 6:00 AM and stayed open for 41 straight hours.
And let’s not forget these are the hours for the shoppers. What about all those employees who have to arrive at work at least an hour or a half hour before store opening to prepare for the “doorbuster” sales? Yes, it is a choice when you work in retail but our shopping habits can dictate these hours.
What do retailers do this for? In 2012, there was only a 3.5% increase in sales on Thanksgiving from Thanksgiving 2011. And 2013 estimates show that it will only be a 3.5% increase from last year (stats courtesy of USA Today).
Is it really necessary to get up and leave our homes during Thanksgiving to make sure we get the best deal on that 55” television or that coat or what about the latest Xbox or Playstation?
Then there are the tragedies because people become animals and lose their minds when they hear the words “sale” or “Doorbuster” or “Deal.” This past Black Friday, a mob went crazy and stampeded inside a Valley Stream, NY Wal-mart killing an employee and injuring several others. You can read more about that here.
People don’t see anything wrong with leaving their families in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner to go shopping even though they can do it on Friday, or Saturday or Sunday or (wait for it) Cyber Monday where you don’t even need to leave the house.
Sadly, many people rushed through their Thanksgiving dinners to stand online waiting for the large retailers to open their doors. They left the comfort of their homes to get Skylander toys or the new Xbox 360 or an iPad.
The Bricks on Division family are shoppers. We love great deals and hitting the sales that our favorite stores have, but abandoning our families in the middle of our Thanksgiving celebrations to stand on a long line in the cold seems dumb. Maybe fighting with people over the great deals they can get is better than singing songs, hanging ornaments and drinking all night.
Do these people not realize you don’t get your best deals on Thanksgiving or Black Friday and they limit quantities to get you in the store to buy other things. As per an article by Lifehacker, the best deals will be found throughout the month of December. Perhaps sitting at home watching football and eating turkey all night on Thanksgiving isn’t the same as the excitement you can get at Target, but isn’t that family time more valuable than the gifts no one will remember in a few months or several years?