Shopping or Working on Black Friday?

Yesterday, I polled everyone I know. Working the day after Thanksgiving? If yes, are you employed by a company, self-employed or freelancing? Are you volunteering or taking a paid day off instead of it being a paid holiday for everyone?

The answers were very varied, but the majority of people were off on Friday, with the exception being the self-employed people who need the day to stay on top of things. Glad to see that Friday’s still a common day off for people to relax and enjoy a sanctioned four-day weekend!

The reason I ask is that the day of thanks, Thanksgiving, used to be such a reverent holiday. Now it seems to be squashed in between shopping expeditions and work projects and by some people, celebrated out of obligation rather than desire to have a feast with family. It didn’t used to be about planning what stores you’ll get what at, but what appetizer to eat during the game and how you’d manage to watch the parade while still getting dinner ready on time.

I don’t like it.

I love to shop, don’t get me wrong, but Friday and then Cyber Monday suffices. I don’t need to go to the store on Thanksgiving day itself. However, because a lot of people still do work on Friday, I get it..the stores need to have an opportunity to lure in those not lucky enough to have Black Friday off. I just want to be sure that my family’s Thanksgiving isn’t ruined by the need to save $100 on a TV.

I used to Black Friday shop consistently. Every single year, we were waiting in some line at 4am, coffee in hand. Loved it! We had a map of 3-4 stores we’d like to get to, along with their opening times, the times certain items were on sale, and of course, the order we’d go to each, knowing that the first store was the money stop. The rest were just bonus. For us, it was a fun event and we did it together, either as a couple or with some of the kids.

This year, we have a daughter in retail, so we’re experiencing the hassle of getting her back and forth to work on a holiday. We’re not bothered that she works on Thanksgiving, because the idea of filling your shift at your job doesn’t bother us; it’s the need to ruin the day for celebration is what bothers us. Big picture. We do think that shopping can wait another day, but we’re not up-in-arms about it. Since a few stores started it, you can’t blame the rest for trying to keep competitive. Big or small company, they have families to feed, too. My reason? Policemen, firemen, medical staff and other emergency people work *every*single*Thanksgiving. Where is the outrage in that? Why are we so upset that someone has to work in a store, where they aren’t risking their lives, but we take for granted those who rescue and save people every single day of the year, much less on Thanksgiving and Christmas?

My vote is for not shopping on Thanksgiving day, but the money isn’t a bad thing for a struggling store OR a struggling employee. I know my daughter’s thrilled at the holiday pay and the opportunity to get that much closer to her savings goal. Yes, we’ll miss her that evening, but we know that spending most of the day with her is way better than what most families of service people (not to forget the military either) get to spend with their loved ones.

Maybe if more people had Friday off, to really have the quality family time that workers need, stores would be less likely to need Thursday. Or maybe you can’t unring the bell and it’ll never change. I don’t blame greed, because in this economy, I can’t blame someone for wanting to save money on a purchase they are going to make anyway. Who am I to judge someone for camping out days before a sale if that’s the only way their kid may get a much-needed computer? I just know I won’t participate.

If you run into a policeman, soldier, firemen or some other service-person working that day, thank them. They are there so that you get help if you need it. They signed up for that career knowing it would be part of the job, but that doesn’t mean we need to take them for granted. Then head out to the stores on Friday — if you’re up for it — or off to the office, having truly celebrated the holiday the way you should…enjoying one of these big babies!


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  1. I was hoping to do that, too, but I’m almost backlogged with deadlines and have been trying to catch up. I guess I’ll do it Sunday? lol Tomorrow’s baking 24/7 other than work, then the Fri/Sat are commitments (other than work Fri til around 1pm) so I hope to get fully caught up on Sunday. We’ll see? 😉

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