Leave Thanksgiving for Gratefulness

by - Wednesday, November 23, 2016

We have our first ever guest blogger! And it is one of my favorite people in the whole world! Black Friday is a few days from now, and it really isn't my deal, but every year it creeps a little further into Thanksgiving festivities. Paige is going to tell you why this might b a problem we can solve.

leaves and snow on the pavement
Thanksgiving is almost upon us! If you’re my family, it means watching the Macy’s Day Parade and getting together for turkey. As far as traditions go, we’re pretty unoriginal. We do diverge in one way though- never do we ever go Black Friday shopping.

This is a tricky one for me. On one hand, I understand that finances can be tight, and it’s hard to turn down a deal (especially when Christmas gifts are on the mind). On the other, we’ve taken a holiday based on being thankful for what you have, and immediately follow it with reminding everyone how much they “need” a new TV, couch, clothes, etc.

I am not here to tell you to stop going Black Friday shopping- everyone has their traditions. But please, for the love of all of the underpaid and overworked retail associates, leave Black Friday shopping for Friday. Give Thanksgiving the full 24 hours it deserves, and allow those employees time to be with their families.

I was lucky enough when I worked retail that I was able to avoid working Thanksgiving (although I did start at 5am and finish my day at 9pm- it’s a marathon, not sprint!) but many of my friends have not been so fortunate.

So this Thanksgiving season, vote with your money. Do you really want to explain to your coworker why their daughter had to miss thanksgiving dinner so you could buy a discounted comforter set?

Top 5 Grinchiest Stores for Holiday Shopping:
  1. Family Dollar and Dollar General - Both of these stores are open at 7am on Thanksgiving day. What could you possibly need at a dollar store that couldn’t wait until AFTER the holiday? Do you really need your $1 bottle of nail polish half off?
  2. Old Navy - They open for black Friday at 4pm Thanksgiving day. So not only are you cutting the holiday short, you’re also asking your employees to come in before their traditional thanksgiving dinner? No one deserves vending machine food from the break room as their thanksgiving feast. Shame on you.
  3. Kohl’s - They open at 6pm on Thanksgiving, so once again, you are rushing your family members out of the house to skip the holiday of appreciation and thanks in order to get the newest Lauren Conrad collection.
  4. JC Penney - These guys are truly the worst. 3pm? Seriously?? What do you have to sell that is so important it can’t wait until AFTER the holiday? If you will be shopping that day, I hope you intend on apologizing to your cashier and give a damn good reason as to why your new curtains were more important than their getting to spend time with family.
  5. Big Lots - 7 AM, PEOPLE. I have nothing left to say.

I am not even going to bother mentioning Walmart for this list, as they are open THE WHOLE FREAKING DAY. There is so much shade to be thrown at that company.

Top 5 Best Choices for Black Friday Shopping:
  1. Barnes and Nobles- They don’t open any earlier on black friday than they do any other day (although there are some that it looks like they may open earlier at bigger cities), BUT they do sell tons of signed books as their gimmick! Maybe that is only appealing to a nerd like me, but I am all about that kind of deal.
  2. TJ Maxx- Not only do they open at 7am on Friday, they specifically make a point to let their customers know that there will be no tomfoolery, and to be respectful of the employees that work hard to be there. Kudos to you guys for thinking of your team members.
  3. Costco- Not only are they closed for Thanksgiving, they don’t even open until 9am on black Friday. I’m not sure what the draw would be for any type of deal (I’ve never been to a costco) but you’ve got to love a company that keeps in the spirit of the holiday
  4. Hobby Lobby - Sure, there are a few shady things about this company that I don’t love, but you have to appreciate that they live by what they preach. They are closed thanksgiving day and open during their regular hours Friday.
  5. Finally- Why not support some of the smaller online boutiques like etsy? This website <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-whitehead/50-ethical-businesses-to-_b_6226410.html> has a great list of companies worth supporting while doing your black friday shopping.

And finally, the best solution of all- Small Business Saturday! Who needs black Friday when you can be enjoying the same type of deals while also stimulating local economy and putting money back into your community? Some towns even have special programs going on if you participate- one year in Franklin, I was doing my small business saturday shopping and was randomly chosen to receive a $20 giftcard to any downtown shop for participating. So check out facebook, talk to some of your local retailers, and vote with your money! This site has some of my favorite reasons for why to buy local <http://www.independentwestand.org/what-happens-when-you-shop-local/>. DId you know that for every $100 you spend on a local business, $68 stays in the community- but buying that same $100 item at a large chain only $43 stays in the community!

So the moral of this story- shop local, don’t ask people to work for you during the holiday season, and be kind to one another.

Finally, I leave you with this:

“Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace.”
-Todd Stocker

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