Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Don't Be a Dick on Thanksgiving

Every year Christmas creeps in to the marketplace earlier and earlier. Now, I enjoy the holidays and am especially captivated by the glitter and glistening of shiny baubles and sparkly trees and I don't even so much mind the stuff coming out after Hallowe'en. Yes, I know it cuts in to Autumn, but if Autumn stuff comes out in August then I see no reason why Christmas decor can't come out in November.

I take issue with it coming out in July though, which is when it started to hit most of the store in my area. Yes, you read that right. July. I try to avoid entire parts of stores so that I'm not burned out on Christmas before October.

Also, I'm not sure how others feel about this, but for me Santa Claus arrives on Thanksgiving... usually at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. To me, that's the real Kris Kringle and to me, his arrival heralds in the whole jolly season. So, seeing kids lined up to meet Santa at the mall these past two weekends has made me curmudgeonly and grumpy. If Santa "comes to town" at the end of whichever parade you enjoy watching, whether it be national or local, then why's he been at the mall for a month? I'd have totally asked that as a kid and it would have put a serious dent in the magical belief for me.

But, I'm just one traditionalist standing in the way of a consumerist culture that will trample me underfoot without so much as a thought. That said, I refuse to give up though. I refuse to have a materialist, monetary holiday season and will continue to stick to the things that make me feel good about the season, no matter what those around me may think or say.

What caused this rant? I know people who are going "Black Friday Shopping" on Thanksgiving Day. Stores are opening anywhere between noon and 10pm on Thanksgiving Day to sell cheap garbage to people who have forgotten that the holidays are supposed to mean something more than what plastic bullshit is tucked under the tree. The people I know say things like "I don't think they should be open, but the stuff is cheap so I should go" or "They're getting paid, so I don't see the big deal."

The big deal, folks, is that everyone regardless of their job description, deserves a peaceful holiday to spend with their families. The big box companies would rather take that away in favor of the almighty dollar since most don't see their employees as individual people anyway and by shopping these ridiculous sales, you're telling them you agree with their stance. It doesn't matter how you rationalize it to yourself; your dollars spent on Thanksgiving Day or at the ass-crack of dawn on Black Friday morning are telling the Powers That Be that you think their employees spending time with their families is less important than that $4 DVD Player. Which will be on sale for the same price, in a week or two, by the way.

I remember what it was like working retail when I had to be at work at 3am to let the crazy assholes who camped out over Thanksgiving day in to the store as early as possible. No, I'm not nice to those people because they ruined my Thanksgivings for nearly a decade and still ruin the holidays of retail workers across the country every single year. If you're one of those people who camps out to get cheap material garbage I need to tell you a secret...most of it is junk that didn't sell. For a reason. And you making me or any other employee need to go to bed by 6pm on Thanksgiving, or worse, go in to work before dinner has even finished cooking, is a dick move. Super dick.

And if there's one time of year that you should maybe consider not being selfish, it's during the holidays.

So do me a favor guys. Stay home on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Tell the Powers That Be that you think their employees deserve time with their families. Tell them the cheap, mass produced junk isn't worth missing time with your own families or getting in to fist fights over. Tell them by spending time with your own friends and family, by making your own gifts, or by shopping small businesses and handmade vendors.

Don't be a dick this Thanksgiving.


  1. Oh nut who didn't fall from our tree, we love you. You said it all beautifully. Pushing and shoving and being an ass hat isn't my idea of a fun date and I have never gone shopping on Black Friday. As a matter of fact, we always hide out on that day, at home. Don't even want to be out on the road, unless it is out of town.
    My Joe actually has to work on Thanksgiving so we will have dinner in the evening. Shelley has to work on Friday after and so the kids and I will use it as the day they make presents for their Mom.
    The Money people may win the souls of many but not all. There are those who still hold out for the real Santa to give us a chuckle and bring some magic down the chimney sans big money items bought at the free for all. Honest, cuz Danni I do believe......and always will. xoxo Oma Linda

  2. thank you thank you thank you from someone who works in retail. I am lucky that I do not work for a big store, so we don't work on these days, but I can only imagine how awful that is, and how uncaring, selfish and rude a lot of customers can be. But even if you are the nicest person in the world, people should try to be just a tiny bit nicer and don't shop on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve (day or evening.) PS: Want to stop your spending habit, your "retail therapy?" Get a job in retail. That'll do it.

    1. I worked in big box retail for 11 years, so I completely understand. Even the nicest customers made me angry and bitter when I was stuck at work during the holidays because in my not-so-humble opinion, there was no reason for them to be there. Running out at 7pm on Christmas Eve to buy a gift is thoughtless... the gift will have only a monetary worth and nothing emotional attached. Personally, I'd prefer no gift to a last minute thoughtless one.

      And you're absolutely right about "retail therapy". Having been in that game since I was a teenager, I've never enjoyed shopping and my bank account has been happier for it.

  3. Thank you! Thank you! I'm considering blogging about this same topic myself. I work in retail, and it disgusts me how corporations are steadily encroaching on holidays to make a buck. And I'm even more disgusted by the black Friday shoppers....THEY obviously don't care one bit about the retail workers or they wouldn't participate in the greed-a-thon. Only in America...they day after we are supposed to be thankful for all we have, it's now a sport to go out and buy a ton of shit you don't need. Sigh.

    GREAT POST! Thanks again.

    1. I know, that's always driven me mad. 12 hours ago they were sitting around a table with their families talking about all the wonderful things they're thankful for and now they're elbowing old women in the ribs for a $2 dvd that came out 5 years ago. /headdesk

  4. Amen and Hallelujah! oh well, you know what I mean. :-)
    I worked in retail for 14 years and the last was as a manager of a big box video store. we didn't have holidays. as the manager, i always ended up working through all the holidays because my staff (ie: teenagers mostly) had to be with their family on the holiday. my mum lived around the corner and would bring me thanksgiving/christmas plates of food because i was stuck with the 90 hour work week. i've never been a black friday shopper. or a holiday shopper even. i'm not doing presents this year due to difficult financial issues. but when i do presents i'm trying to shop local stores or places like etsy to support individuals, not cheap plastic crap. :-)

  5. Many years ago, I accompanied my ex-mother-in-law to the mall on Black Friday. I'm still traumatized. I couldn't believe it. Not just the multitude, but the fact that people didn't quite notice that the prices weren't that awesome--at least, I didn't think so. Anyway, to all their own. Still... one should try not to be a penis, um, dick. Traditions get erased by commercialism; we should do our best to keep that from happening. If not, we'll soon have no roots to keeps us from flying away and fading...

  6. We have been spared here ( French-speaking Québec) for a while but we are iso invaded by american culture and big stores that it has started creeping in the big cities.... and our Thanksgiving isn' t even in the same month!!! But sheeps, um, poeple are following non-the-less. They do not realize the money the "save" isn't helping their local economy at all, thus not helping themself...

    1. Exactly! By buying cheap stuff from a big store, you aren't really supporting your local community. Getting something handmade from a local artisan or shopping in locally owned small stores does.

      I'm so sorry that this greed-fest is sneaking in to your towns and cities. I wish it would just die off and go away already.

  7. And lets not forget how NASTY folks are on Black Friday. Sheer foolery, ignorance, rudeness and ugliness. They seem to think they are the only people who matter and so they treat the store employees like Dobi.

  8. Every year the commercialism and corporate encroachment on the Thanksgiving holiday gets worse and worse. Do people not realize that by letting themselves be convinced and controlled by corporate greed that keeps pushing for less and less family holiday time, and more consumerism, that in a few years, everyone will be required to give up any Thanksgiving holiday time off from work so they can be at their job to keep making the millionaires more millions. Two generations from now families won't even be given the opportunity to celebrate the traditional Thanksgiving family holiday, because it will be just another work day--unless people wake up and quit participating in this fake- bargain buying frenzy that is Black Friday and Crept Up On Thanksgiving Evening.

  9. Right on the spot!
    We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Sweden but I know how it is to have to go to work on Christmas Day (we celebrate Christmas the 24th over here though) when all you want is to be at home with your family. I can't understand why stores and coffeeshops always have to be open all the time. During the holidays everything should be closed so all people can spent time with their loved ones.
    I usually don't set foot in the malls in December. I can't stand all the craziness and stressed out people running around. People get so selfish during these stressful times. After years of working in retail and restaurants I can barely stand people anymore. Unfortunately people aren't that nice in general. Sad but true.

  10. I think people forget just how much power we as consumers have. If we don't show up. If we don't go. And the stores are not making money they will not open on those days. Simple really. If people hate the commercialism of the Holidays then don't commercialize it. Make it all about home and hearth. Family and Friends. Homemade gifts. If you bake , then bake and gift, if you paint , then paint, knit or crochet...do that.... Give your friends and family the gift of the time you put into creating their gifts...It can be a rough adjustment at first.... especially for kids that may be used to getting everything including the kitchen sink but adjust they will and maybe, just maybe end up enjoying the 'new' Holiday.. Imagine coming out of the Holidays not in debt up to your eyeballs......

    I have never even been tempted to go out on Black Friday shopping and for 15 years i didn't even have to think about it as i worked EVERY Black Friday. I worked for Lowe's Home Improvement. I still remember the day they took Easter away from us. Imagine working Easter Sunday.....when you have little kids... even if your not religious and i'am not I still couldn't be there to watch my daughter hunt Easter eggs because i had to work.... People complain about the direction society is taking but what we have to realize is that we are the pilot.... we decide what direction society takes because we ARE the society. Hugs! deb

  11. Agree! Stay home on Thanksgiving and Black Friday!

    We can grumble all we want, but until enough people don't buy stuff those days, it will continue.

    -Grumble, grumble, grumble-



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