Do you shop on black Friday?  I don't!  I have family that partakes, but it doesn't work for me.  It seems there's some controversy brewing (shocker) with the earlier openings on Thanksgiving night.  According to the article, retail chains claim customers are wanting to shop on Thanksgiving day and that many people consider black Friday a part of the holiday.  I don't doubt that's true.  My sister-in-law practically plans Thanksgiving festivities around her need to be in bed early at her Aunt's house that night.  That is part of her holiday tradition.  I don't want that.  My tradition is about the family and food.  I love to shop, but throw me in with other crazed shoppers and I feel like the walls are closing in; claustrophobia-like.  It's not worth the savings and certainly void of any fun.  Neither one of us is right or wrong.  In fact, some may consider the hectic mess surrounding the kitchen for the night prior and morning of Thanksgiving to be totally unnecessary.  Heck, sometimes I do!  But, it's what's "normal" to me and black Friday is "normal" to many.

I do feel bad for those employees that must go in Thanksgiving night in this sense; expectations.  It seems the employer's expectations have dramatically changed to accommodate consumers.  On the contrary, many employees probably didn't expect to have to sleep Thanksgiving day.  I can see being upset about going in on Thanksgiving night if it wasn't in your job description previously.  Some employees might not have taken a position with Target, WalMart, etc. if they knew they would be sleeping Thanksgiving day in order to work all of Thanksgiving night and black Friday morning.  I have felt for years that the holidays are becoming diluted.  Retail chains are trying to provide flexibility and "deals" for their consumers.  That's a nice way to say it!  They are trying to make every red cent they can and do so without regard for the actual holiday.  When will it become black Thanksgiving?  Let's just skip the whole tradition of Thanksgiving day and go shopping because that's what the retail chains are telling us!  I realize millions of people go shopping on black Friday.  I did a brief search (very brief) and can't find an estimate of how many.  Clearly many more people do not shop that day!  So let's not get wrapped up in retail chains making bold claims that they are accommodating the masses.  They are increasing their chances to make money.  It's become a contest now, like everything else.  You open when?  Well, we are opening an hour earlier!  Unfortunately, those stores are forgetting that they have employees with families.  Employees who have their own traditions.  I can already hear the cynics;  "Don't work in retail if you don't want to work holidays."  I call B.S.!   That attitude lends to the definition of pompous in assuming that people working any job should just "know better."  I mean, if it's so "easy" to get another job with great hours, no holidays and tons of vacation I would guess retail chains would close down for lack of labor!  Let's not go down that path.  We're talking about a corporate decision to open doors on Thanksgiving a few hours earlier which ripples through the entire Thanksgiving day so they can make a few more bucks.

One thing I'm curious about; why are stores extending shopping hours into Thanksgiving anyway?  Why not extend deals, savings and hours the other way?  Why is it the earlier - the better?  I understand the "get the customer" first mentality, but I'm speaking in a general sense.  When will it be too early to offer deals of the year?  These stores do not have to open on Thanksgiving or at 4:00 am the next morning to have a deal!  Since when does a deal require some absurd opening fiasco?  Target can dictate the deals they offer at anytime.  Can they not offer deals beyond the official black Friday time frame?  Is it too much to give consumers more time going into the weekend to get deals as opposed to encroaching on Thanksgiving under the guise of a deal?  I'm not buying into this scheme to create excitement and price shock by opening earlier and earlier.  I'm not buying that "consumers are saying they want to shop on Thanksgiving."  If the headline was; "Consumers want black Saturday" we would buy into that just the same.  If you want to argue that products will fly off the shelf and giving extra time doesn't necessarily mean those products will be available, then I say it's all relative.  If you open at 4:00 am Friday morning...products will be gone relative to that time.  If you open at 10:00 am Friday morning...products will be gone relative to that time.  None of it makes sense to me.  Is it safe to say that those of you who want to participate and enjoy black Friday do not necessarily need a Thanksgiving night or 3:00 am wake-up call to do so?  I am going to say...you don't!  I think any rational human being who wants to save money, get deals and have a positive shopping experience doesn't need to do so during the dead of the night.  I think, again assuming all over the place here, that you just want the same opportunity to find great gifts at great prices while having a fair chance shopping for them.  I'll reach out and say that if that fair chance meant you could go shopping at a reasonable time, you would be just as happy!  My view is against these ridiculous corporate decisions to open doors going into Thanksgiving.

I guess ultimately; to each her own.  I can easily look at both sides.  I'm sure the stores are simply saying to themselves; "If we open - they will come!"  Can ya blame 'em?  Given the opportunity to make money, they will find a way.  For me, I shop online.  As long as FREE SHIPPING exists - I'm in!  If I have to pay a couple extra bucks to shop from my couch - I'm in!  I'm fortunate enough to be able to sacrifice maximum savings to shop online or at my own convenience.  I'm sad for those that want deals, need deals and must be put through this charade to get them.  I feel for those employees that don't want to sleep on turkey day.  Another holiday - a new controversy.  .  . it's gettin' old.

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