‘Black Thursday’ here to stay

November 29, 2013

The naysayers and do-gooders will insist that society has fallen. Shopping on Thanksgiving Day is yet another sign of the end of days. Or at least the downfall of “family.”

Maybe. Maybe not.

So long as there is a demand from shoppers, though, you can place a wager — any amount you choose — that stores will open to meet that demand.

Some of the deals are simply too good to pass up; 75 percent off a child’s bicycle or 33 percent off your teen’s favorite perfume among them. For people who make difficult choices between paying the bills on time or deciding which gifts to bestow their beloved children, the deals will continue to lure these people to the store.

Spending money we don’t have? No problem. That’s what Americans do. And by golly we do it, most of the time, at least, with the best of intentions — and we certainly can justify doing so regardless of our intentions.

It’s going to take a ‘miracle’ for this trend to stop, but not the Hollywood type.

In the 1947 film “Miracle on 34th Street,” Kris Kringle convinces Macy’s department store that it’s alright to send customers to its rival store, Gimbels. Kringle, of course, directs customers that way because the spirit of the season drives him. The miracle part of the movie, we’re afraid, isn’t that Macy’s let it continue. In fact, Macy’s marketeers saw dollar signs as the approach proved to be quite popular with customers.

Like then, we’re filled with dollar signs now. Our wallets will follow our feet, and our feet will follow the savings. Over the past 60-plus years, our values have changed. It seems they are changing again, right now. Consider Thanksgiving shopping a new family tradition, much like social media. After all, it wasn’t that long ago when even being on the Internet on a holiday was considered forbidden in most families. And now? Families hop online as sure as the sun rises.

So buck up. If shopping on Thanksgiving Day, or the day after, isn’t for you, then stay home. There will be plenty of others who will be glad you did.