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Black Friday gobbles up a nation’s traditions


This year on Thanksgiving, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, and Kohl’s will be opening at 6 p.m., just as turkeys are being carved and plated across dinner tables in Valdosta.

It seems that these store’s employees will have to grab their dinner to go, or else they may lose their jobs.

There are also other stores opening even earlier, such as Kmart opening at 6 a.m., Lowes opening at 5 a.m., and Walgreens opening at 8 a.m.

The creeping Christmas retail monster has been gobbling at our beloved Thanksgiving dinners for years, but now it seems that he has finally gobbled one of the most American holidays in one glutinous bite.

Several companies have extended their hours with hopes of bringing in more business and customers, but did they stop to think of the downsides of doing so? This not only affects customers, but employees too; not to mention it is intruding on a national tradition.

This trend is hurting society in several ways. Employees are being snatched away from their dinner tables to man cash registers and hang clothes on clearance racks. For many workers, the economic importance of their livelihood, takes precedence over spending time with their families.

Customers also have an ultimatum of sacrificing family time to catch the supposed jaw dropping deals that are falling off of Santa’s sleigh into the shopping carts of consumers. No one wants to miss out on a good deal, and the competiveness of out shopping others is hard to ignore.

Most importantly, the overwhelming economic needs of the retail sector is overshadowing the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

The holiday, which dates back to before Abraham Lincoln, has a deeper significance in the hearts of many Americans—one that is being lost in the lines of retail shopping outlets.

We at The Spectator feel as though Thanksgiving should be kept in a shopping free zone. Black Friday, hence the name, should start the morning of the Friday after Thanksgiving. Our turkeys deserve just as much attention and appreciation as mark-downed televisions and toys.

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  2. Excellent commentary and it is really refreshing to hear this coming from the next generation. Sadly – according to a national survey by Loyalty One more than half of your generation (aged 18-34) think that shopping on this holiday is “a ‘great’ idea. In fact encouraging us all to take the ONE DAY – NO SHOPPING CHALLENGE (that day being Thanksgiving) will do more for our nation than you might think. It would say that we the people want to be more than just a consumer culture. That valuing gratitude and family, courtesy (toward workers) and the concept of delayed gratification are important to us and the we understand that this is how we get stronger personally and as a group.

    Thanks so much for taking this stand! Hopefully it has some influence.

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