Black Friday (or in this case, Black Thanksgiving Evening)

I know there are 24/7/365 businesses out there…I happen to work at one.  Hospitals, law enforcement, paramedics also must work year round with no break for holidays.

My daughter has to work at her job at Target on Thanksgiving evening.  At least she doesn’t work at Kmart…they open at 6am tomorrow.  I know some employees are happy for the overtime pay.  Every little bit helps.  But I still wonder what demand there is that makes the retailers so anxious to meet the supply.  Will being open an extra few hours really make that big a difference in the quarterly bottom line?  And how about the publicity?  Will making a few extra sales compensate for the very real probability that the store will alienate customers?

I will be hitting some stores tomorrow evening…but not to shop.  I will be picking up some $5 Starbucks gift cards and handing them out to the employees, telling them I’m sorry they have to work and hoping to brighten their evening a bit.  I was considering bringing in baked goods but there may be a concern for health and safety.  So if you want to bring in some store-bought cupcakes and cookies, I recommend buying them today, from a store that will NOT be open tomorrow.  Let them get the sales.  

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Rush to the Holidays

I usually get irked this time of year.  We barely get the kids back to school and put out the fire on our last barbecue on Labor Day when the stores start hanging up the Christmas decorations.

Don’t get me wrong.  I adore pumpkin spice lattes as much as the next person.  We had pumpkin Tuesdays at work in October, where we took turns bringing in pumpkin or apple themed goodies to eat.  I bought pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee.  I like easing into Halloween, with the promise of cooler weather and lower humidity, making split pea soup and chili in the crockpot, breaking out the mulling spices for the wine and cider.

But after Halloween, we have another holiday, (you may have heard of it), Thanksgiving, that seems to get forgotten.  My husband and I went to Barnes and Noble on Saturday and they were playing, “Deck the Halls” as we walked in.  I about turned around and walked out.  I know Christmas is coming.  It happens at the same time every year.  I start saving money for gifts around July.  But I don’t want to get into the Christmas mood in November!

For that reason, I think I like Thanksgiving just a bit more than Christmas.  There’s less pressure.  We have a tradition in our family.  For years my mother-in-law hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My husband’s sisters and I wanted the opportunity to make a big feast for the family, so we suggested to Mom that she let the three of us host Thanksgiving, taking turns each year, while she kept the Christmas feast.  This year is my turn to cook the turkey and the ham and the stuffing and the mashed potatoes and the green bean casserole and the pecan pie.  It’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun.  There’s no fighting the crowds at the mall, racking your brain to figure out what gifts to buy and making sure you get your Christmas cards mailed in time.

Huffington Post called it the Christmas Creep.  Some retailers are even opening on Thanksgiving Day instead of Black Friday…my daughter may have to go to her job at Target on Thanksgiving evening, instead of spending time with her family.  I admire Nordstrom’s stance on the issue.  They posted a sign that said, “We won’t be decking our halls until the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Why?  Well, we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time.”

As a friend of mine said, “Happy HallowThankmas!”  If you can, don’t rush the holidays.  You’ll have an entire month to get your Christmas shopping done.  Let’s get ready for Thanksgiving!