Is Corporate Greed Destroying Thanksgiving?


Anja Asato, Editor In Chief

I love to shop. I love buying clothes and hunting for a great deal is one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday. Even I am surprised with myself when I say Black Friday is taking shopping to a dangerous extreme. Black Friday is no longer an exciting day of shopping and bargains, but a compelling example of corporate greed destroying a time-honored American tradition, Thanksgiving.

Over the past decade, corporations have opened their businesses on holidays in the attempt to increase profits. Memorial Day, President’s Day, and 4th of July are just a few of the holidays that big business have decided to corrupt in order to increase profits. Instead of closing to honor these holidays, businesses offer big discounts to lure shoppers. Their employees are forced to work these holidays instead of spending time with their families and celebrating these occasions.

Black Friday was traditionally a day of extreme discounts on the day after Thanksgiving to mark the start of the holiday shopping season.  What I find to be the most disturbing thing about Black Friday is that it no longer starts on Friday. In 2012, Kohl’s announced they would no longer be opening at 4 a.m., but at midnight. Stores are opening earlier and earlier to compete with each other, and in doing so, they have infringed upon the time families spend together for Thanksgiving. This year, Kohl’s will be opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day along with other major retailers such as Target, Sears and Macy’s. However, some retailers are pushing it even further. Walmart and Best Buy will be opening their doors for shopping at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Most families eat Thanksgiving dinner between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and socialize after the meal.

As the opening times are pushed earlier, so does the time that people start lining up in front of these stores for the irresistibly inexpensive merchandise they can snatch up. If people want to go to these sales starting at 6 p.m., they will be cutting their dinner short, or missing it altogether. Instead of spending time eating together and socializing on Thanksgiving, people stand in lines and rush into stores to grab merchandise. Even worse, people are forced to work at these stores instead of celebrating Thanksgiving. This has led me to the conclusion that corporate greed is destroying Thanksgiving.

I once went to Kohl’s at 4 a.m. to buy a bedding set. As a child, this was a fun experience, but with the sales now starting on Thanksgiving Day, I don’t think any sales should tear people away from spending quality time with their loved ones.

Family memories are irreplaceable and Thanksgiving has always been an important holiday to me because of the family time that is associated with it. Even if Thanksgiving is not a grand family affair in my house, we spend the day cooking together and enjoying a special meal. For me, these are irreplaceable memories that no deal on designer boots or a television could replace.

This year, I will spend Thanksgiving Day cooking, eating, relaxing and laughing with my family. Instead of spending the early evening and night chasing sales, I will eat pumpkin pie. On Friday, I will decorate my house with Christmas decorations, work on a volunteer project, and eat all the delicious leftovers. No matter how much I love shopping, no deal is worth missing cherished family time.