The expanding black mark on November
By Kathleen Goddeyne -
I have always loved Thanksgiving. I come from a family of extremely talented home cooks. My Grandpa is a pro when it comes to an old family recipe for stuffing, my Aunt Sandy makes the best pineapple upside down cake you’ll ever eat, and my mom never made a turkey that I didn’t like. Thanksgiving is the day of gluttony, the Macy’s Day parade, and lots of football.
The absolute best thing about Thanksgiving is spending time with family. It’s one of the few days of the year when nothing and no one else can get in the way of being with your loved ones.
Our family Thanksgiving always ended the same way: coupon cutting. All of the female family members over the age of 18 would sit around the dining room table with several newspapers worth of coupon inserts and notebooks. I must admit that even as a young girl, I admired my mother for going to such lengths to plan the perfect Black Friday shopping trip. There’s something to be said about organizing such a big shop. It takes skill.
The woman warriors of my family would leave the house before the sun came up and usually didn’t get home until near noon. What a wonderful thing my mother’s done I would think to myself. Sacrificing her sleep and racing other shoppers to get the doll I wanted so badly.
Unfortunately, Black Friday has changed over the years. Maybe I never noticed it before because I lived in a small town, but people seem to have become more ruthless.
First of all, let’s talk about the stampeding. Is it really necessary to trample a fellow shopper to attain the newest video game at a discounted price? People have been in physical altercations over toys, clothes, DVDs etc. One man even died in a Long Island Walmart in 2008.
Is this who we are? We kill people over bargain prices? I’m sorry but I don’t care if Apple was giving away iPads for a dollar, I would still act like a human being, not some sort of technology hungry barbarian. Otherwise, who knows? You could end up killing a person.
Black Friday has been slowly catching up with Thanksgiving over the years. I remember my mother leaving the house around 4 a.m. to make the most of her shopping trip. Stores have been moving their times closer and closer to Thursday until some were open at midnight.
This year, stores are opening with Black Friday deals as early as 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. I couldn’t believe my ears when I hear of this. I consider Thanksgiving to be a sacred day, rivaling even Christmas. The thought of workers having to fend off crazy shoppers instead of carving a turkey with their family truly hurts my heart. Has consumerism really taken over our lives that much?
I understand parents want and need to please their children on Christmas, but don’t you think it would be better to give your children a memory of a perfect holiday with you?
My mother passed away several years ago and I cherish the memories I have of her over the stove preparing every dish with love and a smile. I definitely don’t remember the gifts I received thanks to the Black Friday shopping, although you should rest assured that the child version of me appreciated it.
The fact of the matter is holidays should be spent enjoying the company of those you love, being tortured by the delicious odors wafting in from the kitchen to the living room, and making memories, not racing around a department store and running people over with your cart.
Toys last several months before being broken or discarded, but memories last a lifetime.