The traditions of smelling the turkey in the oven, playing a football game in the yard and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV all make for a perfect holiday. However, imagine how you would feel if some of your favorite faces were missing? They may not be in attendance because instead of being with family, they would rather be sitting on the cold ground outside of Target waiting for the doors to open. These family members would prefer to race through crowded aisles, throwing elbows at strangers, so that they can score some of the hottest deals of the holiday season, instead of gathering around the dinner table to give thanks. What is more important to you? Family gatherings or holiday deals? As the holidays quickly approach, think about the lives you impacted by going shopping on Thanksgiving rather than waiting until 6:00 a.m. on Black Friday.
Going shopping on Thanksgiving night not only ruins your family dinner, but it takes employees and store owners from their family gatherings as well. In an article posted by the National Retail Federation, Ana Serafin Smith found that 35 million people shopped on Thanksgiving Day last year. That number is more than the total population of West Chester and Downingtown combined. This outrageous number of shoppers, which was expected to be even higher this year, is leaving Thanksgiving dinner tables empty everywhere.
Renae Reints, from Fortune.com, reported that Target hired 120,000 seasonal employees last year to prepare for the crowds that would soon engulf their stores. Although I do not work for Target, or a store that opened on Thanksgiving Day, I do have various family members that do work for these stores. Now that these stores started opening earlier on Thanksgiving Day, these family members were unable to attend Thanksgiving festivities anymore. Although many people who support shopping on Thanksgiving Day blame the stores for opening earlier, it is partially the fault of compulsive shoppers who are mandating more time to indulge in their spending spree. A local Target employee insisted that her corporation decided to open the doors on Thanksgiving Day because consumers were causing an uproar. Targets nationwide made this decision to please the consumers, but now they are facing backlash for the decision to open their doors on a family-oriented holiday.
If you are wondering how you can help stop this epidemic, you can start by putting down the shopping list and picking up the turkey leg. Encourage your family members and friends to stop leaving their families on Thanksgiving Day and wait until Black Friday. The next time you get up early on Thanksgiving Day to grab your blankets and head to the mall, think about the countless employees missing out on their family traditions, as well as the deals that will be coming later in the season.
Amy Walsh is a fifth-year student majoring in communications. AW847366@wcupa.edu.