Thanksgiving is not the perfect holiday, but I think it is about as close as it gets. I mean, we know the Pilgrims were a dysfunctional bunch, so the whole “Pilgrim pageant ” thing has kind of gone by the wayside. I think for generations now it has been a day of stopping and giving thanks for everything wonderful in your life — a day to stop and say what a wonderful family I have, how lucky I am to have a roof over my head, a job, a car, and food on the table. In my family, we always pause on this day to think of others around the world who are not so fortunate, whether from disasters, wars, or other misfortunes. Which makes it all the more distressing to see how our increasingly greedy society is turning this day on its head. It’s become a day of satire: Hey folks! Celebrate how thankful you are for the many blessings in your life by … buying lots of crap!
Now, I’m no social scientist, but I trace it all back to the advent of the Cabbage Patch dolls. Sure, where there are humans, there is greed. But at some point (and I think it was when those damn dolls showed up) Americans just went crazy with the notion that they just must have some thing before everyone else does, and possibly pay slightly less for said thing if only I will get up at the crack of dawn, stand in line overnight, or trample my fellow shoppers on the way in to the store.
Walmart is now announcing that their version of “Black Friday” starts on Thursday at 10 p.m. That’s right: Walmart employees won’t even get to pretend that they get to have a Thanksgiving holiday with their family and friends. Because a 10 p.m. opening means employees are at the store hours and hours in advance to get ready for the stampede of morons who will be going there at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving. I am sorry — I don’t usually call people names. But if you are stupid enough to think that you are getting a bargain that evening, you deserve it.
There is not one single Black Friday item in any store that is worth more than time with your family.