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Black Friday approaches, family time dwindles

As the holiday season is approaching, the controversial topic of Black Friday shopping has returned along with it. Last year, 37 percent of American adults went Black Friday shopping.

As of last year, the most anticipated shopping day of the year started a day early on Thanksgiving. Although the deals may be great, the Black Friday phenomenon has began to pull employees away from their families on a holiday.

Thanksgiving, which is typically marked as a day of gratefulness and seen as a time to spend with your loved ones, is now being turned into a day of greediness.

Walmart reported that last year 22 million shoppers came through its stores in a four-hour period Thanksgiving night. Am I the only one who finds this a problem?

Although many of us make the choice to leave our dinner tables and brave the malls on Thanksgiving, the employees of these megastores have no say in the matter. They are forced to leave their families to watch millions of crazy shoppers file in and out of their store seeking Christmas deals.

I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t like to shop, or that I have never participated in some Black Friday “fun.” However I would never leave my family on a holiday built on togetherness, and I would hope that no one would ask me too.

Unfortunately many are. So what can we do? We need to say “no” to shopping on Thanksgiving. You cannot put a price on family and it is unfortunate that we are living in a day in age where some think we can.

We live in a material world where people would rather camp out on hard pavement for two days to score a good deal on the latest electronic, rather than spending time with their families. To me, that just doesn’t sit right.

We are all fortunate to live in a country where we have so much, and yet on the holiday of gratitude we choose to seek more instead of reflecting on what we already have.

Year after year, we hear horror stories of people trampling others in order to get their hands on the new “it product,” the violence has even gone as far as escalating to both knife and gun violence. Enough is enough. This type of behavior needs to be addressed and opening stores up an additional day is not the answer.

Why should retailers have to choose between their jobs and their families? The answer is clear: they shouldn’t.

I urge everyone to take a stand to save Thanksgiving, and to think about the employees forced to leave their families to swipe your credit card.

 

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