By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
Now that Halloween has passed, we can settle into November, the month of dead leaves and frigid nights.
The one thing that most people associate with November is Thanksgiving, the holiday that celebrates the settling of North America and doesn’t stir up chagrin with a reference to Christopher Columbus.
Thanksgiving has always been a day where the family can come together and bond over a dinner cooked by Grandma with her special recipe for mashed potatoes.
The image of Thanksgiving Day that comes to most people’s minds is a Norman Rockwell-esque portrait of a group of happy people enjoying themselves around a turkey dinner.
However, in the last few decades, Thanksgiving has also been attached to a less soulful connotation: ravenous spending sprees.
Yes, Black Friday is just as synonymous with the end of November as the old turkey day. Every year people argue that Black Friday ruins the sanctity of the family feast by spilling into Thursday night like BP oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Another problem that many have with the shopping night is the fact that so many employees have to be fished out of their homes to work all night.
I myself know many people who have had to leave their Thanksgiving feasts early to work a night shift at a retail store.
And they will tell you, that evening’s one of the most hellish shifts of the year.
Despite the ongoing debate, each Thanksgiving has been followed by Black Friday sales without much contention. This year has been a little different, though.
Many stores are closing for Thanksgiving to protest the corporatization of the holiday. It’s not just small town stores either, even stores that stand to gain huge benefits from Christmas shopping are shutting their doors for the night of November 24.
Designer Shoe Warehouse, Gamestop, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx are a few of the dozens of stores that are taking a stand against shopping on Thanksgiving night.
The closure that made the most headlines was when Mall of America, the biggest mall in the entire U.S., announced they, too, would be closed for Black Friday.
A shopping destination that gargantuan stands to lose a lot of money by shooing early Christmas shoppers.
Is this a sign that Black Friday is dying, or is the trend of closings more of a sanctimonious publicity stunt?
I’d be surprised if this trend kept up through a majority of stores. There might be some stores that become known for always closing on Thanksgiving, the way Chick-Fil-A is known for closing on Sundays, but ultimately Black Friday won’t die.
Money makes the world go round, and a day of the year that acts as a catalyst for the economy is welcome to all.
The biggest problem I and others like me have with it isn’t the fact that it’s a mass day of shopping, but that it steps on Thanksgiving night in the first place.
Thanksgiving is a time to settle down, relax, eat turkey, argue about politics, and watch the Detroit Lions lose. It shouldn’t be superseded by long nights of work and bargain hunting.
So yes, it would be nice if corporate America agreed as a whole to slow the system for the night and let the holiday commence as usual. If it were up to me, I would just have Black Friday take place on another day.
Perhaps remake it into Black Monday, since Mondays are so bleak already. Or, move it to December 1 and give it a more Christmassy feel.
As long as traditions are untouched, Black Friday or whatever-day should be just as free to live as the turkey feast we’ve all loved since the Pilgrims landed in this state.