Who wants to work the day after Thanksgiving? Or even in the middle of the night post Thanksgiving Dinner? I for sure would not; and I wish more people in the United States wouldn’t have to worry about getting into work during the holiday, not being able to spend time with their families because they don’t have time to travel, or not being able to have a Thanksgiving because they have to work; for minimum wage.
My mom tells me stories about how no one was ever out the day after Thanksgiving. I do remember a time like this, but the last couple of decades, Black Friday has become a huge ordeal. There’s even Small Business Saturday (which I am for!), and Cyber Monday (which I think that’s okay too).
Instead of Black Friday, how about we support a ‘Green’ Friday? A Green Friday could mean several things. Perhaps we avoid shopping this day completely. Or we could do our shopping at consignment shops or thrift stores during normal hours. We could also make gifts instead of buying them! Or do our shopping online to support local artisans or crafts people on Etsy.
What makes me feel so bad about Black Friday is all the workers who have to go into work in the middle of the night or really early Friday (some Thanksgiving evening?) to support consumerism and ‘deal’ buying. Considering the fact too that Black Friday is just a lot of people spending money on things that they don’t necessarily need, and are just buying them because it’s a good deal. I want to see the Friday after Thanksgiving a lot less busy again. Our holiday vanishes into a chaotic mess to go buy more and more. We already buy things everyday, there are sales all the time already, why is Black Friday so special? Is it such a great deal? Let’s ask ourselves.
The holidays should have more meaning than they are given. With the slurry of consumer chaos, Thanksgiving and Christmas are lost. Why do we need so many gifts? How about one really thoughtful gift instead of buying a quantity of gifts?
We have a lot of power in this money driven society by deciding what we do with our dollar. No one going out to sales at 4am? Stores won’t be opening at that time anymore. No one really shopping anymore on Black Friday? Workers (perhaps some are your family) will get to spend more time with family during the holiday. Spend your dollar instead on Etsy or local? An artisan may get to pay their bills easier and have the motivation to keep working on their craft.
REI for example, won’t be open on Black Friday in an effort to get people outside or just to enjoy their time. This makes a powerful statement; that they appreciate their employees, and they’re such a good company they’re not worried about loosing sales in stores.
Make a statement this Thanksgiving by choosing what you do with your time and dollar.