The Commercialization of a Holiday
Here Comes…Black Friday?
Today’s blog post will be in form of a mini-rant. It all started with a news story this morning about how stores are now opening their doors on Thanksgiving night for the “Black Friday” deals. I know I am not the only one that finds this trend appalling.
One year ago, while working at the Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia, I arranged a trip to the Philadelphia Outlets for my kids. The outlets were promoting “Midnight Madness” which sought to get shoppers out at midnight on Friday morning to enjoy shopping as soon as Black Friday hit. I thought about the trip as a whole and considered the time at which the trip took place. However, I thought I was doing the right thing because I knew that the kids would have fun and would be able to get the best deals possible. I knew that it seemed like people would be giving up time with their families to take this trip but midnight was not all THAT bad. At least it was FRIDAY!
The Shrinking Holidays
This news story told its audience that stores would now be open as early as 8pm on Thanksgiving night so that consumers would be able to get the good deals even BEFORE Black Friday hit. Maybe this is good for some but for me, this effort that the stores have put forth just ruins the holiday known as Thanksgiving and effectively commercializes the holiday known as Christmas.
If you don’t live under a rock, you have noticed that stores have already put up their Christmas decorations and have begun the process of retro-fitting their stores to look and feel as if Christmas is almost upon us. What this means for Christmas is that the holiday has been stretched that much longer and by the time Christmas gets here, people have gotten “too much” or too saturated with Christmas. What it means for Thanksgiving is that it is a dying holiday. What will stop stores from opening earlier and earlier each year henceforth? The answer: NOTHING!
Thanks For Nothing!
Thanksgiving is a holiday that is meant to be spent with family and friends giving thanks to all the many joys they have in their lives. Yes there usually is a big meal and yes I do LOVE food so there is that. However, the meal becomes the centerpiece and the driving force behind getting everyone together. As with any “group” there must be a catch to “lure” them. This catch is the food. My catch is both food and family. I LOVE spending time with my family and laughing and joking. It makes me feel warm and its one of the reasons I came back from California after my freshman year of college. I can imagine that many of you also love spending time with your family and friends. Thanksgiving should be enjoyed not solely because of the food but also the company that it brings.
Christmas, like Thanksgiving usually features a meal and the rounding up of family members, no matter where they are in the country (or in some cases, abroad). However, this holiday’s centerpiece has become “presents.” We spend so much time now (and more time now because Black Friday gets earlier and earlier each year) worrying about the right gift to get someone instead of actually being able to see our friends and family. We worry about what they will think when they receive the gift instead of what they will think when we are together. The commercialization of Christmas has now gotten to the point where we need two days instead of one to kickoff “Christmas.” I believe it is appalling and that we have lost the meaning of both Thanksgiving and Christmas because companies are looking for “the edge.” That competitive edge that they seek has ruined my outlook on these holidays and I hope it is a trend that does NOT continue.
Enraged member of society,