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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Killing Thanksgiving

I'm mad as hell. Somebody stole my turkey day and it will never be the same again. Every year in November, untold numbers of turkeys are slaughtered for Thanksgiving feasts around the U.S.A. But this year, malevolent forces were out to kill the very holiday itself. Not with a gun. Not with a hatchet. Not with some explosive device. The killing weapons of choice? CREDIT CARDS!

I am not a fan of Black Friday. BUT when it's moved up to in Thanksgiving Day, Thursday...well that just makes my blood boil.

Have we become a nation of the most ridiculous, conspicuous consumer FOOLS on earth? The invasion of Black Friday into Black Thursday is a perfect example of how easily American consumers can be sucked in by giant retailers into thinking they're getting a good deal. Yes, I realize that we are a consumer driven society but why are we so easily snookered by giant retailers? For the love of God...the Good Will Store was having a Black Thursday sale on Thanksgiving Day.....the Good Will!  So....maybe you could buy somebody's worn, musty, dusty, old tweed jacket for $1 instead of $2.00?

Thanksgiving is the one holiday of the year that is slightly less consumer driven than most. Family, feasting, fun and football on TV or a rollicking, ragtag game of football outdoors with the more agile members of your family clan. The Thanksgiving tradition I've always enjoyed is steeped in homespun, happy times centered around gratitude and appreciation for the blessings we have and for the people we love. All that and plenty of turkey and all the trimmings are symbolic of this special day out of the year set aside for thankfulness and pleasant family togetherness.

NOT ANY MORE! This year, the historic and noble feast of Thanksgiving Day was unceremoniously bull-dozed aside by pure, unadulterated greed. Greed on the part of retailers, many of which opened early on Thanksgiving morning. Insanity...on the part of frenzied mobs of shoppers who are lured like cattle to a slaughter-house of bargains. It's merchandising madness gone terribly awry. Frantic, deal hungry shoppers play right into the avaricious hands of lustful merchants who gleefully ring up sales with the swipe of millions of credit cards as fast as a thief can pick your pocket.

I don't begrudge retailers making money. They can cram in as many customers into their stores with as many clever discounts and cheesy marketing tactics as humanly possible. I used to be a marketing believe me I know all about wild and crazy ad campaigns. HOWEVER, I just hate it when businesses invade our family Thanksgiving celebration and turn respectable dinner companions into ravenous shopping sharks who jump in the car and fiendishly race after a good deal, turkey leg still in hand....on Thanksgiving Day.  Like deer in the headlights, Americans are easy targets for these modern-day Scrooges of the retail industry.

I'm sadly afraid that it won't be too many more years down the road, that Thanksgiving Day will be a mere footnote in American history....replaced by "Happy Retailer Day". The iconic Thanksgiving American holiday will be killed off by rapacious retailers who prey on naive, bargain-smitten shoppers. I like a deal as much as the next person, but I'm not going to risk my life for one.

I know perfectly lovely people who have made a tradition of Black Friday shopping. Most days, they appear to be completely normal, sane individuals. But on Black Shopping weekend, they degenerate into crazed bargain demons. They salivate with excitement over the thrill of a deal at 3 a.m. Camp out in the bone-chilling cold and wait in line for hours. All for the inglorious degradation of getting clobbered senseless by a flat screen TV sailing through the air.

I wonder how the early Pilgrims would react if they could see the hoards of pushy, vicious, desperate, ferocious bargain fanatics trample over their grandmothers to get a deal on a Kindle or a 15 piece Rachel Ray cookware set. Life in the rugged wilderness near Plymouth Rock might actually look tame compared to the near savagery of Black Thursday and Black Friday. Those intrepid Pilgrims might just high tail it back to England if they ever caught a glimpse of screeching, screwball shoppers diving head first into the bottom of a giant bargain bin at Walmart to snag the last Hello Kitty toaster.

I guess I just don't appreciate all this depraved, wacky kind of shopping fun. So I'll just help myself to some left-over turkey stuffing and fervently hope that Thanksgiving Day will still be on the calendar next year before it's totally killed off.

And they call this "fun" ??

Oh, the insanity of it all!

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Coffeypot said...

The joke is on the consumer...from what I hear on the news. All those Black Friday sale items that are so in demand were cheaper a month or so ago. Even the TV's.

Cyndi L said...

I so agree with you! I've absolutely refused for years to put up Christmas decor, shop or even run to the store for ice on Thanksgiving Day. Some places in my area even put out Christmas decor before Halloween! Thansgiving is the only uncommercialized holiday we have left and I, for one, will keep it that way.

Vikki Claflin said...

Great post. I agree! On principle alone, I won't participate in the frenzy of Black Thursday/Friday. It's just so wrong...

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I SO agree with you! Black Friday is bad enough, but giving up a family holiday to camp out for bargains is just too crass for words. The combined greed of retailers and consumers takes one's breath away.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

I SO agree with you! Black Friday is bad enough, but giving up a family holiday to camp out for bargains is just too crass for words. The combined greed of retailers and consumers takes one's breath away.

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