What If The Doors Didn’t Bust On Thanksgiving?Posted: November 21, 2013
There are lessons we all learn as a kid. A few years later, we forget them. We all learn that when someone teases us, the most effective tactic is to ignore the taunting. The apparent indifference causes those hassling us to move on to another target.
How soon we forget.
Crossing The Line
In the United States, the Christmas holiday shopping season has been traditionally defined as starting the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving was a solid line that no one crossed. There were no Christmas holiday sales on the Wednesday before, but there were discounts galore on the Friday following.
And then retailers started toying with their hours on the Friday after Thanksgiving, moving their opening times to 8 a.m., then 6…and then earlier. There were special discounts available, if you were one of the adventurous souls who were there when the doors opened. People didn’t ignore the tease, they bought into it…and they bought like mad.
Recently, stores have crossed that once solid line. They’ve started opening on Thanksgiving with “unbeatable offers”. Some of us have responded in that uniquely American way – whining about how sad it is that the holiday has been violated as we drive to the stores.
Wal-Mart is bullying you, America. As much as I hate a bully, do you know who I blame for the problem getting worse? Us. All of us.
The first time the bully hits you or calls you a name is his fault. But the blows you absorb and the insults you take as you continue to walk whiningly toward him, you’re responsible for. If we think it is a shame that stores are opening on Thanksgiving and that employees are being forced to work, it is time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves about it.
It is time to walk away.
Don’t go to the sales. Encourage others to stay away. Point out the injustice of executives enjoying their holidays at home while minimum wage clerks work on what is still called a “national holiday”. Do something about it.
Do you really believe that if Wal-Mart doesn’t sell that lousy TV you’re getting a deal on that they won’t find a way to sell it later? Of course not. They’ve got to sell a lot this season. If that TV is gone, they’ll be giving you a break on a different one next week. We have the wallets. We have the power. We give that power away because we forget how to handle being teased.
Walk away, with your wallet in your pocket.
Ambition And Being A Sucker Are Two Different Things
When I hear people talking about Christmas shopping and someone brings up hitting the stores on Thanksgiving, the most common response I hear is “wow, you’re so ambitious”. Ambition and capitulation to Wal-Mart are two different things. Try being a little less polite – “doesn’t it bother you that people are being forced to work on the holiday?” or “I just think it’s wrong to patronize businesses on Thanksgiving” might be a good message for these “ambitious” souls to hear.
Those who are standing their ground and not shopping on Thanksgiving must not only stand our ground against the tease from the retailers. We have to stand our ground against those who plan to shop. If you’ve scheduled holiday dinner at five and that conflicts with someone’s plan to be in line at Wal-Mart at four, keep your dinner at five.
Think about what would happen if they offered “door-buster specials” and the doors didn’t bust. What if there was no stampede at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day?
It’s time to stop whining about stores opening on the holiday. Refuse to shop on Thanksgiving, refuse to bend for those who do. Don’t be bullied. Take back that Thursday.
I was asked to contribute a piece to a group of bloggers who are all writing on the topic of boycotting shopping on Thanksgiving. I was happy to be asked to add my two cents. Those of you who are on Facebook can go here to visit and like a group that supports taking Thanksgiving back from the big retailers