Have You Forgotten about Thanksgiving?

By: Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
I heard a funny quote once: “We spend Thanksgiving being thankful for everything we have and then spend the next day buying everything we think we need.”
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It truly is the one holiday that is all about friends, family reminiscing and sharing. No gifts are exchanged, no costumes are worn. It’s simply about making a big meal and sharing it with others.
But I’m fearful that Thanksgiving is in jeopardy of quickly becoming a forgotten holiday.  For the past several years, retailers have been steadily moving their store openings for Black Friday sales earlier and earlier. Last year some stores opened at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. This year both Sears and Walmart have announced they will be opening at 8 p.m.
It really is a shame. Why do we need to end a wonderful holiday so early? Where is it written that Thanksgiving is over at 8 p.m.? The funny thing to me is that many people think nothing of the fact that they will sacrifice spending time with family and friends to stand in line out in the cold with hundreds of people pushing and yelling to get inside a store only to fight with strangers over a video game they need to buy for the very people they just left at home on Thanksgiving night.    
It seems that retailers have taken over when we should get in the holiday spirit. As soon as Halloween hits, aisles of holiday decorations start to go up and Christmas songs are piped into the store sound system. And it’s certainly not about putting us in a festive holiday mood so much as it’s about putting us in the spending mood.
Listen, it’s not rocket science here. I’d like to think that people understand that a retailer is trying to one up the competition by offering early store hours and steep discounts so that you spend your money at their store. All I’m saying is that we should not sacrifice a perfectly good holiday like Thanksgiving to do it. Shame on retailers everywhere.
I’d like to say that we should all take a stand and say “enough is enough” and boycott any store that opens before midnight, but that probably isn’t very realistic. It really is about making a personal choice. So I will be where I should be on Thanksgiving night; at home enjoying time with my family and making my favorite holiday last as long as I can. Where will you be?