As I was growing up, Black Friday didn't really mean much to me. I would sleep late and be lazy around the house because I was out of school for one more day. We ate leftover turkey sandwiches and lots of pie and sometimes we would hear about how all of the people were out shopping. My parents worked jobs that only gave them one day off so they were back at work on Friday and they never shopped the sales on that day.
In college, I worked for Toys R Us for several years so Black Friday meant leaving my family in the late evening on Thanksgiving. I would drive back to Austin and be up way too early so I could watch all the excitement of the shoppers and help them find the great deals. Some years I would be the one picking up donuts and coffee to hand out to the long line of people waiting to storm the doors of the toy store. Usually at some point I ended up on a register (my favorite place during Black Friday) and I would be the cashier that was moving the fastest and greeting people the most. I took pride in being the fastest moving line and people would always tell me how grateful they were because of that!
After college, Black Friday became a tradition. My older sister, younger sister, sometimes my niece, and I would start planning early on Thursday where we would go and what we would buy. We would map it out (always starting at Target in Tyler) and make lists of the "awesome deals" we were going to pick up. I was always the one who was "cutting it close" in gathering up money for the shopping trip and for the past few years I was getting money on the DAY of shopping…how scary and frustrating! Regardless, it is a BLAST! We love planning what time we would have to go to bed so we could all wake up early, drive an hour to Tyler (because Palestine only has one Walmart…and nothing else), and be in line at a decent time.
We have always started shopping at Target because there is a variety of great deals and we love the Tyler Target. We have watched them evolve in how they handle the lines and the shoppers and each year it gets better and better. They are organized and friendly and really cater to their crazy Black Friday shoppers.
A couple of years ago, Toys R Us opened at 10pm and Hubby and I went over together to get a train set for The Boy. We froze in the rain, ran in to get the train set, and were back out in less than 30 minutes. After that experience, Hubby said he would never do it again. I drove back to Palestine, only to get back in the car and head back with my sisters for more "real" shopping.
Last year, the stores were opening at midnight and while we groaned about it, we were right there in line and ready to shop. However, by 5am we were done…physically…and headed home. We felt bummed and cheated and we did NOT like it at all.
This year, the stores are opening as early as 8pm and we are NOT happy about it at all. Black Friday is…on FRIDAY! This is why midnight made some sense to us, although we didn't like it. Opening on Thursday at 8pm is ridiculous and insensitive to the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Not only are the shoppers missing out on their family time – which is truly their choice – but the employees are missing out as well!
While I don't talk politics or much about religion on this blog, I do talk a lot about family and believe in family values. I believe that this race to open their stores earlier than the competition speaks some to our society now and the decline of family values. That is as far as I will go with that for now.
We need to bring the family and tradition and the THANKfulness back into THANKSgiving!!
I asked on my Facebook page last week for some others' thoughts and got a little bit of mixed reactions, but I would love to hear more of your thoughts!!
So, will I shop on Black Friday this year? – Heck yeah (I will be with my sisters for Sisterpalooza and we already have the t-shirts)! Am I happy about it? – No way! Will I be more likely to support small businesses who continue to support family values and stay closed on Thanksgiving? – You BETCHA!!
Five Crazy Thoughts About Black Friday
As you are heading out this year for your crazy Black Friday shopping, whether you are shopping on Thursday evening or Friday, think about these crazy thoughts:
- Thanksgiving is about Family and each employee that you see working so hard, whether they are working because they love it or working to support their family, they are missing out on some portion of a family holiday about giving thanks. THANK THE EMPLOYEES FOR THIS!!
- Random Acts of Kindness go a long way and if you are shopping on Thursday evening, you are choosing to miss out on some family time, and so is the person next to you. DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE ELSE!!
- Black Friday is just that – Friday! While it may be too tempting to miss out on that great deal on Thursday evening (it will be for me) take time to SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES OR COMPANIES WHO WAIT FOR FRIDAY!!
- Kindness and Thankfulness go hand in hand. BE KIND ON BLACK FRIDAY!!
- Whether you agree with the companies who are opening on Thursday or not, voice your opinion. CONSIDER SIGNING A PETITION ASKING TARGET TO GIVE THANKSGIVING BACK!!
I want to know your thoughts, so…GO!!