Stop the Madness

On behalf of retail staff everywhere, both past and present, I have this to say:

Stop it.

By this time on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the entire world has seen the videos of the early-morning stampedes, and the mad dashes for cheap goods that occurred at the time when we Americans are supposed to be blissfully sleeping-off our turkey-comas or watching football.

And they’re laughing and pointing, folks.

The Outrage over the last week was hard to miss. Tons of Angry People, signing internet petitions to Ban Shopping on Thanksgiving. Shouting in online comment sections. Declaring that All Good Things Have Died…

Want to make a real difference?

Don’t go.

I’ll say it again.

Don’t. Go.*

You see, no retailer wants to open a store, and pay a staff, if no one is going to buy things. No Shoppers = no Early Openings next year. Or ANY year, for that matter. It will stop, all by itself. And maybe we can get our dignity back in the process.

And, while we’re in the Not Shopping Mode, I’ll give my annual pitch for my favorite charity, Heifer International. With projects in nearly every country in the world – including our own – that teach farming and animal husbandry, it’s near and dear to my heart. Take a few minutes to look them over.

The Mall will still be there when you’re finished.

*If you insist on going anyway, try to make the day a little more pleasant for the employees and other shoppers. I’d hate to see any of you on the News… 

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29 thoughts on “Stop the Madness

  1. I’m with you, too! Last year there were tents wrapped around our local Best Buy for days, snaking up the wheelchair ramp and everything. This year, the more popular Wal-Marts were handing their campers maps to the sale items. Ridiculous.

  2. Very interesting. I have ask the newsletter.
    A person who like cows very much : I would want to have a herd in my last travel in Tunisia, with a man who share the project, but the politic situation is not enough good….
    I am waiting news about the countries where this organisation is…..
    Thank you Mary

  3. We used to play a game in which each person had to tell something they had never done. Black Friday had not been “created” then but I could have said, and still can say, that I have NEVER gotten up insanely early to shop on this most …… oh, well, you fill it in….. day!!

    • ps. Thanks for posting about Heifer International. When I was working it was SO much fun to tell the children that I got a Llama for Christmas. What a great way to teach them about doing things for others.

    • The last time I shopped on Black Friday was in Florida. The store opened at a normal hour, and they handed out goodie bags to early shoppers. It wasn’t crazy at all.
      Now, I don’t even leave the house, if it can be avoided…

  4. “Skipping Christmas” have you ever read that book? A great read and more people should do it. This whole season has lost the real reason why we celebrate and it is really sad to see this. I guess I am in a bit of sanctuary here in Asia as they don’t really celebrate this holiday. It is always busy here so we don’t really notice the difference in the holiday rush.. Stay staff inside today and maybe bake instead. LOL

    • As a Retail Refugee, I’ve had to work at getting my holiday spirit back. With the Little One in the house, skipping isn’t an option, but trying to teach her about True Giving is paramount.
      I don’t even shop online on Black Friday. I just recover…. 😉

      • I completely understand Marie. You know the things my boys remember and miss the most have nothing to do with the toys or the shopping but the traditions. A Christmas would not be a holiday in our home if we did not make the Pasta dome together as a family or decorate the tree together while listening to carols or decorate the gingerbread cookies. It is the little things that make it special.

  5. I have to say I have never heard of these sales before, but we have similar ones here on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. I never go to them, if I want to see what they have, I wait a few days. I hate crowds.

    • It didn’t used to be like this. There were big sales on the day after Thanksgiving, but the stores opened at a normal hour, and there were no mad dashes. Sadly, it appears that enough folks showed up that next year they’ll do it all over again…

  6. I absolutely agree Marie and may I add, that this concept will work for just about everything. the ;power of the people. if they think that there is too much packaging don’t buy packaged veges, if there is too much plastic in the world gobbling up all the oil, don’t buy plastic, if they hate GM foods, don’t buy anything with dubious ingredients, if anyone thinks that there is too much pollution contributing to climate changes then walk, or turn your heating down, or turn your computer off at night. Take the chargers out of the wall when you are done. What you wrote is actually the KEY to change everywhere. We are powerful. And also darling girl when I first met you, you said to me – be kind to the staff and on the rare occassions that I do go into a big store I think of you and smile and give them all a big hullo .. especially the ladies with cold hands who work in the meat section! have a lovely, lovely day.. c

  7. I have neve shopped on Thursday- our stores are not open in a conservative Baptist dominated town.,Even if the stores were open- I would not be there. I have never shopped on a black Friday either except to go to Pets Mart where I buy pet food. That store was not over-run with crazy people or I would have waited until Saturday. I have only gone x1 to Pets Mart on black Friday and that was late afternoon when I shopped.

    All of that shopping is too nuts for me- I want not part of it.

    • It isn’t just the Baptists – in Rhode Island the only businesses that can be open on Thanksgiving, by law, are restaurants, gas stations, and pharmacies. Which means all those chains running ads about being open on Thursday, opened at midnight instead. Which is still stupid, in my book.
      Thanks for your comment, Yvonne!

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