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Saturday, November 16, 2013



This is it.  We have gone too far.  We have killed Thanksgiving... probably permanently.

What started out a few years ago as a "fun" idea... and a way to attract a few shoppers to the stores eagerly to get a jump on some bargains for the "Holiday Season" has gotten out of hand.  Keep in mind, I have no vested interest as I write this;  I don't work in retail, nor have anyone in my direct family that does either.  Yet, this affects me, directly and indirectly.

In fact, it affects us all, whether we realize it or not.  As of this year, certain "Big-Box" stores will be opening up ON THANKSGIVING DAY, albeit later in the evening.  In that regard, "Black Friday" appears to be fading away and moving up in time to a day that Americans by-and-large enjoy with family and friends, sitting around the table reviewing the past year with vibrant conversation, watching football and getting into the spirit of the Holidays.

We have allowed this to happen.  Our greed for items we don't really need, at prices that aren't really much better than on any other given sale days, has allowed the holiday of Thanksgiving to erode into a non-holiday... soon, it will just be a memory of the "good old days."   By that I mean 2006 and earlier.

People.... WAKE UP!!!!!  How can we allow corporate giants, China and our gluttony for obtaining poorly made junk to invade a holiday, one of the few left, where people looked forward to a hearty meal and conversation?  We each have allowed this to happen.  Some even make it a sport, prepping all year for those "targeted" (pun intended) items for which they will stay up all night and venture out at midnight and try to obtain the best deals possible.  I almost view it as an illness.  Let's face it, you can pretty much get those same items online or with a little time investment, in many stores at sale prices.  I know simply because I bucked the "Black Friday" syndrome and obtained the same items at "Black Friday" sale prices or better either online or via Mom & Pop stores locally.

It would appear by most accounts however, that the spirit of Thanksgiving is dead.  More and more, I listen to "shopping battle plans" for the moments after Thanksgiving coffee is over and the shoppers will descend upon the big chain stores in droves, whatever the risks or hours will be.   Is it ridiculous?   You bet it is!

And now, stores are opening on Thanksgiving.  Wonderful.  At 8:00PM some stores, and we expect many others will follow suit, will open up just after dinner time on Thanksgiving Thursday, to open their doors to the "Black Friday Army."  Make no mistake, this is a battle... and people act accordingly.  Just take a moment to remember just a few of the "mishaps" that have occurred on some recent "Black Friday" events... you know, in the Holiday Spirit where people are jovial, friendly, courteous, etc.... and willing to kill each other for garbage:

  1. Last year, things tuned ugly outside a Los Angeles Wal-Mart when a 33-year-old woman was accused of unleashing pepper spray on other shoppers as they made a frantic dash for electronics. According to police, the women started spraying the pepper spray as soon as the items she was interested in were unveiled.
  2. In 2008, the Black Friday chaos was responsible for the death of one Wal-Mart employee.  A 34-year-old Wal-Mart worker was killed in Valley Stream, N.Y., when thousands of shoppers rushed through the doors as the store was opening at 5 a.m.
  3. Torrance, Calif., a shopping center got more than it bargained for on Black Friday in 2006.  Instead of just handing out gift certificates, the center decided it would be fun to drop them from the ceiling. However, as soon as the 500 gift certificates were dropped from above, a melee  erupted as 2,000 frenzied shoppers went scrambling to grab the certificates. The melee left 10 people injured, including an elderly women who required hospitalization.
  4. A skirmish between two women inside a Palm Desert, Calif., Toys R Us ended in death for two others on Black Friday in 2008.  While it was unclear how it started, as argument between two women escalated into a punching match inside the crowded toy store. Two men, who had been accompanying each of the women, pulled out handguns and began shooting and chasing each other around the store.
  5. In 2010,  Madison, Wis., police said a 21-year-old woman cut in line in front of several hundred others — and when confronted about it by other shoppers, she threatened to pull out a gun and start shooting them.  While the woman was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, she claimed to be doing nothing more than what others were.
  6. A Phoenix, Ariz.,-area grandfather was bloodied by police after they alleged he was trying to shoplift from a Wal-Mart on Black Friday in 2011.  According to reports, police swooped in on the grandfather after he was seen stuffing a video game down his pants. Police said the man resisted arrest and was walking toward the front door when an officer knocked him to the ground with a leg sweep.  In a video of the incident posted on YouTube, the man can be seen lying on the floor in a pool of blood.  The victim's wife, however, claimed her husband was just protecting her grandson.
  7. On Black Friday in 2010, one customer showed up at a Palm Beach, Fla., Wal-Mart ready for war.  While waiting in line to enter the store, another shopper alerted police to a man she believed was carrying a gun.  When police approached the man, they found him wearing a .40-caliber Glock handgun with a 30-round magazine in a holster at his hip. The Palm Beach Post reported the man also had two concealed knives, a "pepper grenade" and more than 100 prescription pills on him.
  8. Black Friday in 2005 in Orlando, Fla., turned violent when local Wal-Mart employees began tossing laptop computers in the air to the frenzied shoppers.  Witnesses described the scene as complete pandemonium.  "They were throwing laptops 20 feet in the air, and people were collapsing on each other to grab them," shopper Brian Horwitz told Orlando television station WFTV.  "It was ridiculous."
Let's be honest... there is NOTHING we need so desperately that requires violence to obtain it.  We don't live among wild animals;  we don't need to protect our lives while gathering items for the home.   There is no electronic gadget that requires as a pre-requisite that one must incorporate battle plans and at times, actual combat to obtain it.  People have just lost sight of what the holidays are about.  They have lost sight that people that are FORCED to work on Black Friday and now on Thanksgiving, probably don't want to be there.

While millions of Americans will force their way into these stores, there are employees working there that were forced to leave their own family dinners, just to entertain the blood-thirsty needs of "gadget-gatherers" to have the latest and greatest piece of Chinese/Japanese junk on the market.  There is a never a time where barbaric behavior is acceptable.  It is even less acceptable when there are employees forced to work on a National Holiday, many who have recently lost hours/health insurance (Thank You Obamacare), many who are earning minimum wage or slightly higher, all so people can get a jump on the "Holidays."

It's time to break the trance.  You don't need that flat-screen THAT bad that you have to venture out on Thanksgiving day to get it.  Guess what... that cell phone, will be there the week after.  Same with the video game... it will all be there.  But you know what won't?  Your time with your family... that's right... it will be gone.  It ticks away second after second.   The ONE holiday where everything shuts down so that families and friends can get together to enjoy each other's company is gone.  And we all had a part in killing it.

My wife and I are calling it quits this year.  This will be it.  Starting this year we will be donating our time after Thanksgiving to give to those who need help.  We will be paying it forward.  Our kids will be with us, helping out in a soup kitchen, or some other worthy cause to help those less fortunate than we are.  We won't be hunting down gadgets.  We won't allow corporations to control our holidays.  We refuse to let stores and "things" dictate how we spend our time with the ones we care about most.

Black Friday killed Thanksgiving.  We are going to reclaim it.  One person at a time.  Think about it... if you are reading this, you can make a change.... and you can use your energy in a positive way around the Holidays.  Try to break free of the "Black Friday" hype and make a difference to someone who REALLY needs it.  You will live just fine by staying in on Thanksgiving Day, as well as Black Friday.  In fact, you could argue by not going shopping, you could just be saving your own life.  Now think back to what the holidays used to mean, and what they are really about.  Make a change for the better... stay home this Thanksgiving.  Stay home Friday.

ADDENDUM:  Partial List of Retail Stores Opening on Thanksgiving Day for "Black Friday" (We encourage those who LOVE AMERICA to Boycott / Not Shop On Thanksgiving Day).  EMPLOYEES ARE BEING TOLD, DO NOT ASK FOR TIME OFF   (Source:  Huffington Post)

The "Naughty" List:

1.  WalMart: Opening 6PM THANKSGIVING DAY
2.  Target:  Opening 8PM THANKSGIVING DAY
3.  K-Mart:  Opening 6AM THANKSGIVING DAY
4.  Best Buy:  6:00PM
5.  Old Navy:  900 Stores open 9AM -4PM then Re-Open 7PM THANKSGIVING DAY.
6.  Staples:  8:00PM THANKSGIVING DAY
9.  Michael's:  4:00PM THANKSGIVING DAY
11.  JCPenny's:  8:00PM THANKSGIVING DAY
12. Kohl's:  8:00PM THANKSGIVING DAY
13.  Simon Malls:  Some plan to open 6:00PM THANKSGIVING DAY

Editor's Note:  While some of these stores historically may have been open on Thanksgiving Day, there is stiff competition being reported between retailers as well as a calendar "anomaly" making it (in their eyes) required to be open during our National Holiday.  We would be interested to know which CEO's / CFO's / COO's as well as Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Upper Management of these large chains will be working the floors along side retail staff.   If you are from any of the above stores and are employed in one of the roles listed (CEO / VP / Pres / Etc.) we would welcome your comments and/or rationale for promoting and encouraging the destruction of Thanksgiving Day for your employees and US Citizens.  Please comment directly via Google+ or you may send a written response to:

The "Nice" List


1.  Costco:  Advised on 11/16/13 that Costco WILL OBSERVE THANKSGIVING & BE CLOSED!
2.  Sams Club:  Also reportedly CLOSED THANKSGIVING

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