Blog: Is the real meaning of Thanksgiving gone?

10:32 AM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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Has the real meaning of Thanksgiving totally disappeared amid a flurry of sales and shopping bargains? Really?

I just looked at the list of stores that will open "early" for shopping and several are opening early on Thanksgiving Day itself.

Forget the midnight madness that we've endured for the past decade or more and now shopping is even intruding into the daylight hours on Thursday.

What? Will stores start pushing the envelope even further in the next few years so they open while some of us are still watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade?

Or maybe -- heaven forbid -- the sales will start on Wednesday.

How has the search for deals and the slashed prices been allowed to intrude into what should be a day off to enjoy family and/or friends with a festive meal and some traditional TV watching?

How about all the families and friends that engage in their annual "Turkey Bowl" football game? Why is it so important to go shopping?

I understand that there isn't a whole lot to do except relax after the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, whether it be at 1 p.m. or 5 p.m., but why does it have to be getting in the car and going shopping?

True, Black Friday got its name because that is usually the day that retailers see their profits go into the black. I prefer to think of it as the day they keep trying to lure shoppers into buying items at reduced prices that were maybe somewhat overpriced before.

And going out on Friday to do some shopping isn't a bad way to spend the day but not at 12:01 a.m. Friday, in my opinion.

In an effort to be fair and supply readers with full disclsoure, I didn't inherit the shopping gene, so to me, shopping is done out of necessity. I have never been a crazy bargain-hunter but I do shop for the best prices.

I am all for the American spirit of trying to get ahead and make a living but who is actually getting the profits from all these crazily-timed store openings? It's the big retailers, not the local shop owners.

Have any of your locally owned stores advertised that they will be open at midnight Thursday? Likely not. I am sure they are open during their regular hours on Friday, after being closed all day and evening Thursday to spend the holiday with their families.

It's those stores that should also be on your radar as well because the money you spend there goes to the small business owner. There's also a movement for "shopping local" for the Saturday after Black Friday. Or "Shop Small Saturday," as it is also known.

You won't see TV ads for the local stores and the big box retailers usually do have larger inventories of the basic "wants" but there's also a bit of creativity you can use to buy some presents at your local small businesses.

It won't break your budget and it will be directly helping those who have families just like yours.

Enjoy Thanksgiving with friends and/or family, shop the big box retailers that night or in the early hours of the morning, if that is what your budget and/or needs are. But remember to save some time and money for the local shop owners.

Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks for what you have. Make sure you allot enough time for that as well.

WKYC-TV

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