Thanksgiving Day: Shop Till You Drop?

Thanksgiving Day: Shop Till You Drop?

Every family has its own traditions for the holidays, and growing up, my Thanksgiving was always pretty predictable. I would attend the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City with my dad while my mom stayed home preparing the turkey with all the fixings. By 2:00 in the afternoon, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins would all gather around our dining room table to enjoy a rare meal together. After dinner, there was the inevitable marathon of movies, an occasional uncle falling asleep on the sofa, games being played with the cousins, and of course, an array of pies and desserts were served in the evening. Overall, it was a warm, wonderful day spent with family.

Even though parts of that tradition still hold for my family today, there are some inevitable differences. We watch the parade on television, and my husband creates the most delicious turkey you could imagine. The kids still spend the day playing games, but now the games are interrupted by constant texting and checking their social media sites. There are some new traditions that have been introduced, as well, including one of my favorites – going around the table, and one by one, everyone saying what they are thankful for.

Now, the other new tradition may be a bit more unconventional, but things have changed dramatically. With the retail competition for sales growing to a feverish pace, stores have taken Black Friday, the infamous “day after Thanksgiving” sales, to a whole new level. A few years ago, maybe due in part to the failing economy, stores started offering “early bird specials” to entice customers to make their establishment the first stop of their shopping day. The times seemed to get earlier and earlier, and eventually, some started opening at midnight Thanksgiving night. This year, some stores are opening at 8:00pm on Thanksgiving. Is that going too far?

How does this change our family holiday? Some may argue that Thanksgiving is a day to spend with loved ones and that the commercialism of the holiday season should not be allowed to intrude on this special day. Perhaps compromise is the solution. Sure, your day may start earlier, and you may have to serve the turkey dinner as a late lunch, but I’ll bet there is some family bonding that could come out of gathering up the shoppers in the evening, and heading out together to brave the chaos of an early Black Friday. And, there’s nothing like heading home with shopping bags in hand knowing that there is pie waiting for you!

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.