Black Friday or Black Thursday: Should People be Shopping on Thanksgiving?

Black Friday has been a long-standing tradition in America. One, that in the last several years has started earlier and earlier. Interestingly, this topic has received a great deal of media attention.

To shop or not to shop on Thanksgiving. That is the question.

Sisters Melissa and Kimmie Kimmie and Melissa Go Shopping!have differing viewpoints on this hot topic. We present both their perspectives below. Despite their disagreements, they both can agree that shopping together is better than shopping alone. Both sisters went shopping together on Friday (pictured).  

Melissa’s Case: A Case Against Thursday Shopping
The holidays are coming fast and everyone is trying to prepare. People are frantic to make travel arrangements, finalize plans, and find those deals! Black Friday is a shopping day like no other. It is an American tradition! So who had the bright idea to start this on Thanksgiving? Whomever it was, it is the worst idea I’ve ever heard of. Thanksgiving should be spent at home with your family, eating, drinking, and watching football. It is not the day to run all over town in search of the best price of some fad for the year!

1. Celebrate People
Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate all the people and accomplishments in your life to be thankful for. Most families have their own traditions, from watching/playing football together to going to parades together but the key word is TOGETHER. There used to be a day in time when Sundays were spent lazily with family and friends, not working, not running around or shopping. That day in time is gone. How many days a week do you spend not working or running around in the hustle and bustle of life? How many days do you simply focus on your family and nothing else? I bet none of you could say even 1 day a week! As a society we are now down to certain days a year when we simply focus on and spend time with the ones we love the most…and Thanksgiving is one of those days. So now the stores want to take that day away as well by offering some great deal starting on Thanksgiving night? Give me a break!

2. Its All About Family
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. Waking up at 3am, or staying up all night, to go stand in line with your best friend to get those deals is fun. Of course, it is an acquired taste and not for everyone. For those of us that enjoyed standing in line, running from store to store, and being finished by 7am, that fun is ruined by opening on Thanksgiving night. Now I would have to leave my family at 5pm, when I should be cuddled up with the kids on the couch, to go stand in line for a deal?

3. Just Don’t Do It
On Thanksgiving Day, don’t go shopping. Enjoy your family. Family lifts our spirits, revitalizes us, reminds us of who we are and all the blessings we have in life. If your family doesn’t do that for you, find a family who does. Families who spend time together have strong emotional bonds and better communication. Enjoy that! Don’t let the hustle and bustle of modern times take away yet another day to spend valuable time with the people we cherish most! Shop on Black Friday! Bring back the fun in it!

Kimmie’s Case: A Case for Thursday Shopping
It’s easy to make a case for against shopping on Thanksgiving. ‘People should be with their families on Thanksgiving’ opponents of early Black Friday shopping say. Who can argue with that? I’m not here to argue against spending time with family. I’d like to instead examine the less popular notion that Black Friday turned Grey Thursday shopping really isn’t that bad (gasp!). My issue with the ‘no Thursday shopping’ argument is that bloggers and pundits usually provide overly simplistic rationales and typically fail to account for individual differences and shopping preferences that have developed over the years. Let’s take a look at some facts, shall we?

1. Many Industries are Open on Holidays
People should be with their families! Here is a shocker, I agree. At what point do we draw that line though? Are we to close restaurants, movie theaters, and other popular gathering places on Thanksgiving or other holidays? Did you know that Thanksgiving is one of the most popular days to go to the movies in America? Followed closely by Christmas. Where’s the outrage over theater workers having to work on said holidays? Melissa, dare I ask – Have you and your family ever attended a movie on a holiday? If you have, you have contributed to people being away from their family on a holiday; I believe that goes against your second point.
What about other popular holidays? Valentines Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day top as some of the most popular (and busiest) days in the restaurant industry. Shouldn’t food service employees be permitted to spend time with their mothers on mother’s day? I don’t think it’s logical to select which holidays are more important. To make a stand against Thanksgiving work and not others on the sole principal that people should be with their family on this day seems disingenuous.

2. Personal Choice
Personal Choice. Everyone has it – This part is really quite simple. If you don’t support shopping on Thursday, don’t participate. Kimmie and Jennifer Shop on ThursdayNo one is forcing you to shop. Shopping on Thursday is a personal choice of mine. I have young children so we typically eat early in the day (like around noon). We spend the day with family and friends. In the evening I go shopping with a buddy, which 9 times out of 10 is my husband. The little ones stay with family while my husband and I bond over retail, lol. I used to do the overnight shopping but that was always difficult for our family. Now that shopping on Thursday is a ‘thing’, my husband and I make a fun date night out of it. This is my choice and I feel strongly we should respect everyone’s individual shopping preferences.  This Thanksgiving I went shopping with one of my 7 Charming Sisters, Jennifer (pictured) 

3. Free Market
Closely associated with personal choice is the concept of the free market. If there wasn't consumer demand, stores would not be incentivized to open. Yes, my husband is a business/econ person so free market was going to come up at some point :)
The bottomline? People should be able to shop when and where they want, Thanksgiving included.

What do you think? Comment below!