“Black” Turkey Day

One of the best things about Thanksgiving (other than the over-the-top meal of succulent turkey, Grandma’s dressing, tart cranberries and the rest of the trimmings) is the fact that it’s one of the major holidays and family celebrations that doesn’t involve gifts…until now.

With more and more retailers setting their alarm clocks earlier and earlier, the “Black Midnight” openings of major chains now infringes on Thanksgiving day.

Instead of leisurely watching every football game or playing board games with relatives and friends, now we have to make sure we’re online browsing the early-bird specials and making sure our holiday lists are complete–before the turkey even comes out of the refrigerator for those scrumptious cold turkey sandwiches.

And what about those poor retail employees who have to get up to be at work at midnight?  Will they even think they’ve had a holiday or a day off from the whirlwind of “getting ready for the holiday?” Has marketing gone too far to force chains to offer nearly round-the-clock shopping?  Or is this a glimmer of the desperation that retailers are experiencing several years into the economic downturn?

What’s next?

Will online deals be pushed up to compete with the carving of the big bird?  Will bricks and mortar retailers feel compelled to start offering “Black Friday” discounts on Wednesday–only to compete with last-minute grocery shopping?  When will shoppers declare a truce and be willing to hear Uncle Bob’s jokes for the umpteenth time instead of sneaking peeks at their Smart Phones to see if another mega-chain has upped the anty on bargains at the last minute?

I wish that our national holidays could maintain their character as true holidays–without any shades of black clouding the merriment.

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