What If The Doors Didn’t Bust On Thanksgiving?

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

The Wal-Mart in the Mountain Farms Mall

If reward them, you can’t whine about the consequence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Walk Away

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

And we have to help one another walk away. That’s the hard part for us, because we’re going to have to get tough with some folks.

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


15 Comments on “What If The Doors Didn’t Bust On Thanksgiving?”

  1. lbwoodgate says:

    Let’s hope enough people respond to this greedy behavior of K-Mart, Walmart and all the other greedy corporations that put profits before people

  2. Absolutely true! We, the consumer must take back Thanksgiving. If we don’t shop, they won’t open. A friends teen son will be working at Best Buy on Thursday. They can’t plan around his schedule because they travel 80 miles to Rockford to spend the day with family. Families should not be having these problems. I’m also saying thank you to the stores that close. It’s not easy, for a corporation to make the decision to lose sales.
    Thank you.

  3. List of X says:

    No problem, I was avoiding Black Friday crowds already.

  4. Your approach to the topic of shopping on Thanksgiving offers an excellent, creative perspective/comparison. Thank you. You personalized this in a way that many of us can relate to and that makes this an especially strong and effective post.

    I came here via the Thanksgiving The Real Deal Facebook page and also posted on this topic.

  5. Debbie says:

    Well said, Oma, and Thank you for saying it! You, like me, know what it’s like to have to work on a holiday. But our services were *needed*. No one NEEDS to shop on Thanksgiving Day. Those sales will still be there (heck, don’t people know pre-Thanksgiving hype is already nearing a feverish pitch?!) I’ll be staying home. Watching football. Eating. Maybe getting a nap. Perfect!

  6. Beth Ann says:

    Awesomeness all wrapped up in a little blog post!!! Thanks so much for your words and for the encouragement to those of us who are choosing to not shop on Thanksgiving!!! Together we can make a difference!

  7. Green Wuf says:

    I fully agree with this idea of not buying into this stores open on Thanksgiving Day thing. Then again, I barely agree with the whole black friday thing; not so much the day of sales idea, but how people conduct themselves. I think America is turning further and further away from what the Thanksgiving through Christmas season actually means and represents.

  8. tundrawoman says:

    We now do one thing well it seems in the US: Rampant, mindless consumerism.
    Screw the ‘marts: Eat the turkey.
    (Or what ever your budget can afford and your taste desires.)
    Tell it, Oma.

  9. pryan51 says:

    I love your comments, and couldn’t agree more. However the bully WalMart has been doing this for years – and if someone would rather save some money now on something without thinking about the results – Mom and Pop stores going out of business, the only jobs available paying minimum wage, manufacturers being forced to outsource or go out of business – well who cares until it’s YOUR job, YOUR wage and you might finally realize you’ve participated in your being bullied until it’s too late.

  10. fanhtasywhorld says:

    Preach ! ! !

  11. I worked in retail most of my life and always had to work Black Friday, Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas. I thought that was bad enough, but to actually work on the holiday is too much.

  12. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Good words, Oma. I won’t go near the stores on that day.

  13. Yeah, I used to work for one such entity. They’d even close the stores on Christmas day, but the employees were there working just as hard as ever to get things ready for “Day after Christmas” sales.

    There’s nothing I want so badly that I’m venturing out. I used to love Black Friday shopping, but I am not the least bit interested in going anywhere Thursday.

  14. It surprises me but your post is the first one that actually states what I have been thinking since I heard the stores would be opening on Thanksgiving Day. I’ve heard lots of jokes, a plethora of humour and tongue in cheek posts but not one person taking a stand. As a Canadian it really wasn’t my place. Our Thanksgiving was last month and we don’t have Black Friday. I will check out the page you suggested. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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