Why Shopping on Thanksgiving Makes Sense

Buy More Stuff, Black Friday 2010
Photo Credit:Michael Holden, Creative Commons

Everyone is up in arms about shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s not fair to store employees!”
“We should be able to have ONE day being grateful for the stuff we have rather than going to get more stuff!”
“We’re messing with TRADITION!”

To those first 2 statements, I agree wholeheartedly. Stores slated to open on Thursday are more than capable making money even when closed for one day. Shoot – they can even afford to give workers a day off with pay. Our economy will not collapse because of this.

It’s the “tradition” statement I’m cringing about. Which tradition?

If you are referring to the tradition President George Washington established for the 13 colonies declaring rest on a Fall day to give thanks, then I’m with you. I support this custom.

Now go back over 100 years prior to Washington’s decree. The years when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags ate for 3 days (not gorging themselves with the same amount of food in 3 hours) with each other to celebrate peace. Awesome. I encourage this observance, as well.

Let’s talk about the tradition right before and right after the 3 day feast; the tale we know about the Europeans claiming land already belonging to the many tribes living here. The newcomers wanted land, so they ravaged and slaughtered to get it. THEY GOT WHAT THEY WANTED.

What about our Pilgrims, those hardworking folk who moved to this country because of religious persecution in their homeland? Tradition didn’t break then, either. Those Pilgrims went ahead and persecuted anyone who didn’t believe the same way they did. THEY GOT WHAT THEY WANTED.

Remember when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president and the stores pressured him to have Thanksgiving a week earlier so there would be more shopping days left ‘til Christmas? And some states followed suit and others didn’t? That lasted until 1941 when Congress shut down the government fighting about it made Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday in November a law. THE PEOPLE GOT WHAT THEY WANTED.

I can’t ignore the reason for my husband getting up early on this “Holy Day”.  In 1934, the Detroit Lions said “Let there be football on this day of thanks.” And it was so. Soon after, Dallas came into play. And forevermore, the TV shall be on while turkey is consumed. I’m sure money had nothing to do with this decision. It is all for the pure reason of being thankful. We don’t argue about this on the internet every year though, do we? THE NFL AND TV AND AMERICA GOT WHAT THEY WANTED.

So you see why shopping on Thanksgiving makes perfect sense. We don’t really care about what is right or what is good as long as we GET WHAT WE WANT. If you want a day off of shopping, then don’t shop. If enough of us feel this way, stores won’t make money and they won’t be open next year and WE WILL GET WHAT WE WANT.

If you want to support corporations offering cheap goods for 48 hours you will. No amount of blogging or Facebook bashing will stop you. And if there are enough of you feeling this way, our grandkids will never know Black Friday used to be a one day event.

Happy Thanksgiving, America. Be thankful you live in a country where YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT.


  1. says

    Is nothing sacred? The holidays have slipped away from the general public and been completely bastardized by Big Business. The traditional meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas both have been diluted by mass consumerism. Read more about the War on the Holidays and American Values being waged from the trenches of Wall Street at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-war-on-thanksgiving-one-turkeys.html where one Turkey gets his revenge for encroaching on the holidays this year!

  2. Laura Olson Johnson says

    Thankfully my company has not joined the greedy whoremongers who want to drag us off the couch after stuffing ourselves to get their "exclusive on Turkey Day" deals. I get to enjoy my extra day off, and I'm sleeping in Friday cuz for the first time in 17 years I do NOT have to work at 4 am on Black Friday…yippee!!!

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