Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Will You be Lured Away from Your Thanksgiving Celebration to Appease the Retailers?

This morning I saw a headline in USA Today about more retailers opening their doors for shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Experts are saying Thanksgiving is not as sacred a day as it was even a few years ago.

The story also says that opening on Thanksgiving is an experiment to see how “penny pinching consumers” will respond. I question this approach.

One of the great things about Thanksgiving is that it exemplifies what a true holiday means – spending time with friends and family – usually without the giving and receiving of gifts. Yes, gifts are a wonderful way to show someone you love them, and we certainly experience plenty of that at Christmas. But the unique thing about Thanksgiving is that it is not associated with gifts.

Thanksgiving is a fantastic time to slow down and appreciate all that we have in our lives. It’s the only “official” day of the year for it. But, now that retailers are inviting everyone out of their homes, away from their families, on Thanksgiving, will the holiday lose its meaning? Will people be so tempted by the opportunity to save a buck that they won’t even take this one day to appreciate all they have in their life? Is everyone going to be in a hurry to down their turkey so they can be first in line for the “door buster” sales?

It will be interesting to see how consumers respond. Will the retailers win out by offering deals sweeter than Thanksgiving dessert? I would ask us all to think about how quickly we want to rush from our special Thanksgiving celebrations to the stores. Don’t get me wrong! I am all about saving money – but I’m not going to sacrifice my family time on Thanksgiving Day to save a few bucks.

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