Black Friday has been an un-official American holiday for years… The Black Friday I used to know was when people across the country would wake up at about 4 or 5 AM the morning after Thanksgiving and hit the malls and stores for the best bargains and sales in holiday shopping.
I have never been a participant in Black Friday shopping… I’m more of a Cyber Monday online shopping fanatic. Last year my holiday shopping was mostly done on Amazon.Com… I just can’t get out of my all too warm bed the morning after a major family feast…
Yet, in the past few years a major trend has begun and it has me incredibly concerned… Stores are now opening early on Thanksgiving day. By early I do not mean 11pm at night. No. They are opening the morning of Thanksgiving and staying open most, if not all, day! My local craft store, Michael’s, is opening at 11AM and closing at 5PM on Thanksgiving. Local malls and major stores are opening throughout the day.
What has happened to cherishing one of the few family-centered holidays that we have? Thanksgiving is not based around a religion, so all Americans have the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. I look forward to cooking with my mother and grandmother. I look forward to seeing my sister who now lives hours away. I look forward to chatting and sitting around a table. I look forward to having the positive social interaction that the family structure in America is losing, lacking and in need of rebuilding.
My hope for rebuilding the family-centered, quality, positive interaction is now being thrown out of a window.
Families are now being broken up on this holiday when members of the family are required to work. Trust me, I understand that there are those out there that need the extra day of pay, but the country-wide impact of this day is accelerating the decline of the American family.
Without getting into the history of the holiday, Thanksgiving at the least gave an opportunity for loved ones to gather and for generations to interact. With busy work and school schedules, such a day does not come by often. We did, however, have a day where America took a break from the busy day-to-day to gather and spend time with those we love.
Now? Now, we have family members working at the local mall when they should be with their loved ones. Now, we are teaching the youth of America that it is OKAY to skip on family time to run to the store for a sale. Now, we are teaching an entire country that family is not important anymore.
Is a miracle going to happen that reverts all the damage that has been done? No. What can happen is that we each focus on our families. Teach the youngest members the importance of family. Be the positive example for your family! Show them that THEY are your priority.