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That Weird, Unfortunate Combination: Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday

Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks for all the blessings in one’s life, a time to get together with family and friends and enjoy food and football. But in recent years the integrity of Thanksgiving has been infringed upon by the ever-expanding Black Friday.

Black Friday — designated as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, and perhaps the busiest day of the shopping season. A day known for its bargains, but also its chaos. Massive shopping lines, mad rushes when the doors open, and even violence have been part of the equation. Some people even camp out near a designated store, hoping to be first in line when it opens. And of course, some stores open in the wee hours of the morning. Some stores open earlier (e.g. midnight) while others go so far as to be open on Thanksgiving (in an attempt to outdo their competitors). We’re almost at the point where Thanksgiving plays second fiddle to Black Friday. The next thing you know, Thanksgiving will wind up being known as Black Thursday — in fact, it’s reaching that point.

As I mentioned before, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all your blessings. It has been traced back to the Pilgrims. In fact, a similar tradition was held by the settlers at Jamestown. At any rate, in both scenarios the holiday was observed as giving thanks to God for a successful harvest. And in the case of the Pilgrims, Thanksgiving helped form camaraderie with the Wampanoags.

But Black Friday seems to be of more importance to some people, no matter how early the stores open or the potential chaos involved. They can’t wait until the pumpkin pie is served so they can make a mad dash for the stores.

Now, I don’t want to sound anti-corporate or anti-capitalist, but the way Black Friday has evolved in the past few years has more people focused on shopping than being thankful for their blessings. I believe it’s more important to observe Thanksgiving by means of food, fellowship, and (most important) faith rather than take advantage of some bargains.

In addition, I hardly participate in Black Friday (I’d rather watch football and enjoy the leftovers). And if I did go shopping, I would do it during the day instead of getting up around 4 AM or having to camp out in the cold after enjoying Thanksgiving dinner.

And just how many families have to endure the chaos of Black Friday because someone wanted to take advantage of the bargains? Imagine being forced to get up before dawn just to go shopping. This is where some men might draw the line. Unless they have to work or go hunting, they are not likely to be up that early in the morning. I do know that shopping is a sport for women (just for the record I am not being sexist). This fact was pointed out by Jeff Foxworthy, and some women have even admitted it.

So, here’s my advice: Celebrate Thanksgiving the way it was meant to be celebrated and don’t let it become Black Thursday. As for Black Friday, do your shopping during the day instead of getting up before dawn. Or better yet, take advantage of online bargains (just a few clicks is a lot easier than experiencing a mad rush in the early morning hours).

But above all, remember that Thanksgiving is about being thankful, not about bargains.

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Andrew Linn

Andrew Linn is a member of the Owensboro Tea Party and a former Field Representative for the Media Research Center. An ex-Democrat, he became a Republican one week after the 2008 Presidential Election. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Louisville, where he became a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honors society. He has also contributed to and Right Impulse Media.