When I was younger, even at 18, stores were closed on the holidays. Any year on Thanksgiving, when traveling to a relative's house, there would be hardly any cars on the road, and shopping centers resembled ghost towns. It was a serene feeling. There was that part of my brain - the part that romanticizes - that pictured every family circled around their tables, laughing and talking over turkey and gravy.
Fast forward to November 29, 2013. This year more and more stores stayed open on Thanksgiving (my mom worked yesterday and wasn't able to join us), and the yearly Black Friday sale moved from 6am on Friday (as it was when I was young) to as early as 6pm last night. I got curious; the kids and I hopped into the minivan and drove to the local Walmart and a local shopping center. It. Was. RIDICULOUS! There was a heavy police presence at Walmart, and people were parking in nearby parking lots because there was no more space. At the shopping center people were lined up in the cold out side of Target.
Today, I've viewed dozens of videos of the brew haha that is Black Friday. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! People were fist fighting, screaming at each other, trampling people to get to a sale. What happened to spending time with your family? Do these people not realize that if you encourage stores to stay open others will follow suit and we'll ALL eventually be working on the holidays? Hmmmm, I wonder how many of you just read that and thought "I didn't think of it that way." I am a stickler for tradition and believe that everyone (obviously first responders don't have the same choice) should be with their families, NOT out shopping for a discount. I mean, did any of those people who shoved others down and injured people (anyone remember the child who was trampled to death?) really need a new TV, an iPad, or whatever?
Can we, as a society, agree to respect traditions, holidays, and common courtesy? Okay, I'm into deals and bargains, but how about everyone realize these sales are NOT what they seem. How many times have you heard stories of people standing in the cold for hours only to find whatever it was they came for was no longer there? They only have a limited supply of these bargain deals! It's a ploy to get you into the store to spend more money when you would normally be hunkered down in front of the football game moaning in agony from an overstuffed belly!
Am I being old fashioned? Maybe I'm becoming that old curmudgeon! I don't know...either way, you'll never catch me shoving someone to the ground to save money on something I would never buy anyway!