Early sales interrupt Thanksgiving traditions

By Lauren Nguyen

It seems as though there’s an eclipse set to happen the last week of November, and I’m not referring to anything solar. Black Friday is overshadowing Thanksgiving this year.

Stores that used to close on Thursday and observe the Thanksgiving holiday are now opening their doors to offer large discounts. It concerns me that the holiday will eventually be overrun by the need to buy Christmas gifts.

I was particularly frustrated when I recently logged onto Yahoo, only to find a countdown clock to Black Friday next to my search engine.

Without Thanksgiving, Black Friday would not exist.

I sat there in confusion as to why there isn’t a countdown for Thanksgiving.

There’s no argument that the day after Thanksgiving brings some of the best sales of the year. Some people consider it fun to join crowds in the wee hours of the morning and search for deals.

However, businesses have transformed Black Friday into “Black Thursday.” This event is technically no longer just the day after Thanksgiving. Now, stores start opening while many families are still eating dinner.

Retailers compete each year to see who can open the earliest and attract the most customers on Black Friday. What used to be deemed “early” was swinging doors open at 5 a.m. The crack of dawn is now considered late, due to a dramatic advanced opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

To deepen my worry, I was informed that the retail store where I work will be starting their sale at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night rather than the usual midnight opening. A fear hovered over me about the possibility of being scheduled during these hours and having to leave my family mid-dinner.

I have never minded working during odd hours, even if it meant staying up for a midnight to 8 a.m. shift. As long as it followed the holiday rather than cut into it, I wouldn’t complain. If I didn’t want to sacrifice family time to earn overtime wage, I questioned why others couldn’t wait a few hours to hit the mall either.

I find it ironic that a holiday dedicated to being thankful for what we have is becoming dominated by a day devoted to commercialism. Even memes have surfaced on the Internet poking fun saying, “Only in America do we wait in line and trample others for sale items one day after giving thanks for what we already have.”

It saddens me that this holiday is losing its meaning. Society has reached a level of caring more about material goods than spending time with loved ones. This mentality of “I want more” seems contradictory when it is overlapped with a day of “thanks.”

Consumers need to keep in mind that the things they buy over Thanksgiving weekend are exactly that: things. The holiday’s original meaning and preserving traditions are worth a lot more. While I do respect shoppers on the actual Friday, I hope they don’t allow Black Friday to gobble up their Thanksgiving

Black Thursday

Monica Lopez / The Poly Post

Black Thursday

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