Valdosta Daily Times

Business

November 18, 2012

Kay's Column: Thanksgiving disappearing in early Christmas rush

VALDOSTA — Thanksgiving is a bit early this year and for weeks, we’ve all seen the Christmas displays up and the sales flyers circulating. And this Friday is the biggest sales day for many, as shoppers will line up for bargains. But things are a bit different this year, as many stores are now opening on Thursday night rather than early Friday morning. Some large retail chains are being boycotted by employees, who are tired of seeing the precious few holidays they get each year eroded by corporate decisions.

Not sure how most people feel about the Thanksgiving evening openings vs. early morning Friday, but I think it’s a shame to see this new trend. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to tell what days are holidays anymore, which will erode the whole “black Friday” concept altogether. Traditionally, it’s the day when retailers go into the black and turn a profit for the year, not the largest shopping day of the year, which is the normally the last Saturday prior to Christmas.

I suppose if there’s one or two things that are must haves on your shopping list, and those items are going to be gone if you don’t get to them quickly, then the early shopping times may benefit you. And I’m also sure that the stores that do open early Thanksgiving evening will be full of shoppers. But those shoppers would have been there the next morning too.

It’s sad when traditions melt away, when family time is no longer sacrosanct, and when Thanksgiving, a time to remember all you are thankful for, becomes merely the first day of Christmas shopping.

Traditions only survive as long as they are observed, so does this mean Thanksgiving may soon be a thing of the past? Let’s hope not.

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