Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 5, 2012

OUR VIEW: Next year, bring back Thanksgiving

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Now that we’ve had some time to look back at it, how successful was the move by some department and big-box stores to open their doors on Thanksgiving? We’re sure that the results were mixed, depending on the stores and the bargains they offered.

The idea of “Black Friday Eve” sales was a neat twist, but we won’t shed any tears if we never see another one. Thanksgiving should be a day for families to be together: sharing a meal, a movie night, the football game or to simply just be together. It should not be a day made for standing in line for hours and fighting crowds.

As soon as Halloween ends, stores start to load up on Christmas, and we get inundated with Christmas advertising before November is two weeks old.

What has happened to Thanksgiving? The day that promises turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and more is being shoved aside in the name of big-screen high definition TVs, the latest in computers and other gadgets. What used to be a day of thanks and praise to a higher authority has turned into praise for the almighty dollar.

There was a time, not long ago, when Black Friday meant that stores opened at 6 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving to accept customers lured by their advertisements. Soon, it became 5 a.m. Then 4 a.m. Finally, last year we saw stores opening at midnight.

And what of the store employees who have to go to work earlier and earlier? It’s one thing to go to bed an hour or two earlier to help open the store at 6 a.m. But those who have to be at work at 3 a.m. to open an hour later are either sacrificing sleep or family time.

At least it was only once a year, on Black Friday. Now they’re being asked to sacrifice one of the few holidays that truly brings families together to, essentially, help “the man” fill his coffers.

Was all the extra effort worth it? Did it improve the bottom lines, or did it just spread the shopping over two days? We’d like to see the stores ‘fess up on this one.

Could we, please, just enjoy a family holiday and hold off on the sales and visions of a green Christmas for just 24 more hours?