MONICA PAYNE

Opinion Writer

paynemk@plu.edu

While some of you spent your Thanksgiving in the presence of family, friends and poultry, others broke away from the dinner table early to catch the sales of the season. Corporations have extended their Black Friday hours into Thanksgiving Day. Because who needs to spend time with their families when they could be fighting complete strangers for the latest Frozen doll or Lego play set? That’s classic familial bonding! But seriously, there is absolutely no reason for big business to take away our holiday.

The ”List of Stores Open Thanksgiving and Black Friday” includes Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods which opened at 6 p.m. Toys R Us and Best Buy took the 5 p.m. spot, Michael’s at 4 p.m. JC Penney’s at 3 p.m. and lest we forget Radioshack opening at 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.  according to the Seattle Times. And these stores will just keep opening their doors earlier and earlier. By this time next year, people will be camping out on Wednesday night and what was once a feast will be reduced to mere snacks. The junk food dinner Snoopy made in the Peanut’s Thanksgiving special is looking more realistic by the year. In a few years we’ll be renaming Thanksgiving “Black Friday Pregame”.   

And for those who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, then let them have the day off. They have families too. At the very least they should have a day to relax. With the terror they have to endure on Black Friday, and the days that follow, they deserve a day to prepare. But no, theshoppingy are thrown right into the heat of battle alongside the rest of the troops. Who needs a break? Certainly not these workers! We have a nice colony of Energizer bunnies! No. No you don’t. Let these hard working people have a little vacation. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently it is for this capitalistic society. All those classic traditions are being thrown out the window, and for what? A TV that was $700 and is now $600. And they’ll still consider purchasing the $800 flat screen for the surround sound or whatever sort of extra function it has that makes it the better buy.

If that’s the case, you can shop for that TV anytime, but it’s not everyday you have the chance to gather your entire family in one house and just spend some quality time together.

I’m all for buying great gifts for the people you care about. That’s the reason for this wonderful season. However, it’s going way too far when the preparations for one holiday take the place of another.

Bob Greene’s CNN article titled “Is Black Friday Edging Out Thanksgiving?” explains Black Friday perfectly, saying “It celebrates nothing; it commemorates only itself. It is an annual festival of the cash register.”

What is a holiday, if not a time to gather, be festive and have fun without the stresses of everyday consumerism? It’s just you, your family and some good food. Black Friday is not that kind of day and we should not try to mold it into one.

The people you give the gifts to are far more important than the money you spend. This society needs a huge priority check if they choose the purchase over who they are purchasing for. Thanksgiving is as important as any other holiday. Let’s not sweep it under the rug for some big sale sign.

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