Elder Quality of Life
Hannukah 5774

Crabby Old Lady and Thanksgiving Shopping

(Before Crabby Old Lady gets into this rant, she needs to tell you that she abhors crowds and has never in her life gone shopping on black Friday or any other crunch shopping day. There is no sale on earth that could temp her.)

For many years, Americans have been cajoled, enticed, coerced, pressured, seduced and, most of all, expected to spend a lot of money for Christmas on black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving. It was (and still is) almost considered unpatriotic not to do so.

The poor schnooks who bought the hype barely finished their Thanksgiving feast before lining up overnight to be the first of hundreds or even thousands of people through the doors of big box and department stores when they opened at 6AM.

If Crabby Old Lady is not mistaken, at least one person on a past black Friday was killed in that crush of people and others have been seriously injured. But never mind safety. What's a broken arm or rib or even a life in giant corporations' pursuit of profit and astronomical executive pay.

The best that could be said about black Friday through the years was that at least everyone had one day with family and friends before the commercial onslaught.

Thanksgiving is one of 11 official federal holidays in the United States. It is often noted that it is the single holiday with no obligations for gifts or revelry or spending. Just the warmth of a good meal and general conviviality at home with family and friends.

Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of year as millions cover great distances to be with family and some make it a tradition to invite strangers to dinner who have no family of their own.

Even if that doesn't warm your heart, the downtime from the hubbub of work and constant commercialism of our lives is a pleasant relief. It has been that way in all of Crabby Old Lady's 72 years.

Until last year. In 2012, some stores opened on Thanksgiving Day for the first time and many more have joined them this year. Crabby suspects there is no going back. Ever.

From now on Thanksgiving will be a shopping day in America. According to DailyKos, here is a partial list of stores that will be open on Thursday:

Old Navy
Medieval Times
Toys "R" Us
J.C. Penney
Dollar General
Dick's Sporting Goods
Best Buy

Although the majority of these stores are opening at 8PM on Thanksgiving, Walmart begins at 6PM and Old Navy is way ahead of everyone at 9AM – just about the time Crabby is getting the stuffing together for the turkey.

Crabby would like to remind you that these stores cannot be open on this national holiday without the sales staff – you know, thousands of minimum-wage workers, people with families (some of whom have traveled those great distances to visit) - who will have to jump up from the table to be at work before the 6PM or 8PM opening.

It is not inappropriate for Crabby to further remind you that at least two Walmarts have held food drives for their own employees who cannot afford Thanksgiving dinner on what the company pays them.

In the face of this holiday travesty along the millions of long-term unemployed, other millions of underpaid workers and the many who are still stuck with underwater mortgages, Crabby is having a hard time enjoying her good fortune to not be among them this holiday.

For the record, here are some of the big retailers who are giving their employees their deserved holiday by closing on Thanksgiving according, again, to DailyKos:

BJ's Wholesale Club
Home Depot
T.J. Maxx
Burlington Coat Factory
Radio Shack
American Girl

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marc Leavitt: I Used to Think That Sleep Was Not For Me


Isn't it ironic that you used to live in Manhattan, a city of crowds?
The difference is that in New York, the crowds of people were living their lives in city of infinite possibilities.

On Black Friday their aim is greed: To get the best and biggest for the least layout of money.

By the way, I linked to my poem three times and got the DailyKos.

DH and I always go birding on Black Friday! Good way to walk off the pecan pie from the day before. And we are far from the only birders out on the day after Thanksgiving.

Like you, I abhor crowded shopping venues! Ack!

Sorry about the wrong link, Marc. It's fixed now.

Minutes ago a news report said the pope made a pronouncement decrying the "new tyranny"--unbridled capitalism. Think the old boy is on to something.

Nope, no shopping on that day. George and I are very grateful to be alive, and we will be sharing this with others all day.

I just signed a petition via email asking me to protest Kmart's intent to open all day on Thanksgiving!!

These retail behemoths are desperate .. and sickening.

If the idiots refused to shop on a holiday the stores would not open. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and it is us." (or something like that)

Thank you. An excellent article. Really appreciate knowing what stores will be open and more importantly which ones will be closed- as they will get my business on every other day of the year that they ARE open.

This phenomenon is disgusting. It feels as though we are marching backwards towards Dickensian times. For many years now, I have rarely gone out on Black Friday, and will never go out on Thursday. We've created a monster called Capitalism and it's completely cast off any chains it may have once had, taken control, and screaming "Feed Me!"

P. S. My daughter, son and one granddaughter will be with me this year for the first Thanksgiving we have been together in 17 years.

The other granddaughter works at KOHLS and they would not let her off so she will not be able to come. Boo Hiss.

I thought Thanksgiving was all about being grateful for what one already has rather than greedily lusting after more!

I agree with all the comments above and I'm liking this new Pope more and more!

Trader Joe's also has signs up saying that they will be closed on Thanksgiving so that their employees can be together with family and friends. There is NO WAY that I will shop on Thanksgiving Day...and I will remember which stores put profit above people!

Sheeple will always be Sheeple...Those who always
follow the crowd.
They are enticed by "bargain"
and "free."

My preference is always to avoid crowds except for joining my fellow RV'ers to
celebrate and share together our jointly prepared meals at Thanksgiving & Christmas!
Happy Holidays Everyone!

If you want to voice your protest to those commercial outlets that will open on T-Day there is a FB page that affirms this by simply "Liking" the site. It's called Thanksgiving, the real Deal please don't shop

I'm joining the WalMart employees who will be picketing the stores on Friday.

Can't think of a better way to spend my time than helping other citizens to make a living at the very least a survival rate.

And you are absolutely right, Darlene ...
"We have met the enemy and it is us." Or words to that effect.

And apparently so is the Pope!
And that's the first time I've ever agreed with a Catholic Pope! I sincerely hope it is not the last time.

I have never shopped on these days and in these later years
really shop only when I have to. Of course food that is different and at 79 I still have a small garden. Most shopping is done now online.
I love Amazon, arrives quickly, easy return if it does not please. L.L.Bean and a few other stores online
supply all I need. Not much I want anymore.
Preparing for 3 days as 10 will arrive on Thanksgiving.
Do not want to eat out and to far to go to their home and fussy me likes my cooking better. This may all change soon but am on a high today
thinking of my big table
almost full..

Thanks for listing the stores who stay open AND the ones that don't. Black Friday has never appealed to me but at least it was the day after Thanksgiving--not Thanksgiving Day. Such little respect for families and traditions is shown by these companies!

I will be with family and will not be shopping those days, never have. We go for walks, talk, and sometimes take the kids to a film on Friday. Cathy Johnson is right, Dickensian!

Amen to everything you said and comments as well. Thanks especially for those lists! I'm going online to let each know why I will or will not be shopping at their stores.

We are of the same mind and have been for some time. I would love to see all those retailers who are going to be open on Thanksgiving post a loss for the day. We have made sure to tell the clerks at stores we patronize and are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas that we agree with the policy and hope they enjoy their holidays.

I've never shopped on Black Friday either -- scared of crowds and don't need more "stuff". As of today, Broadway is lined with Christmas trees for sale, and during past two weeks already I've noticed two Salvation Army sullen Santas ringing bells while talking on cellphones. Bah, humbug.

I'm not a shopper - at any time of year, least of all on Black Friday; but, I must say that I don't give a rat's patootie whether stores are open or not on "holidays". I always volunteered to cover "emergency" situations at the aircraft store when I was still working. A holiday is just another day, to me. Blue laws that kept stores closed on Sundays struck me as pretty silly.

I feel guilty when I shop on line, because I know that fewer people are employed when we all do that. However, it is truly convenient. When we recognize that everyone is worth supporting to a minimum level, we will have arrived at a time when automation won't be responsible for people's living in poverty.

I don't shop on black Friday and I certainly will not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

I thought it was just me feeling moody as the holiday season approaches.

I rarely patronize those stores mentioned on the bad list on "any" day with the exception of Staples and Macy's occasionally for essential items. Never would I venture out on black Friday, much less Thanksgiving Day.

A few scenes in the movie, "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" depicts this frenetic season in a very real way. Watching people gorge themselves with food and drink, crowds running in every direction and chaos, it's like we have entered a different dimension until January 2.

I don't give a hoot about the holidays. Family members and friends I most cared about and shared simple and loving holidays are now long gone with only memories.

This season, I'll give my sons and their families
"gift cards" along with a sentimental Christmas card. I'll attend midnight mass to rediscover the Christmas spirit and to thank God for blessings given me.

I still enjoy shopping (to a point) at almost 77 Y/O but NEVER on Thanksgiving--not EVER!--and not on so-called Black Friday either. I totally agree with those who observed that what we are seeing is Capitalism run rampant and out of control. I hope I live to see it reined in once again as it was after the Great Depression.

The rise of unions wasn't always pretty, but it accomplished some very good things for ordinary workers--like decent pay, health care and pensions. Sadly, most workers have lost those things now, and with unemployment at such high levels, they don't feel that they can refuse to work on Thanksgiving even if they could get by without the extra day's pay.

The grocery store in my town with be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. I have already thanked them for doing so and for giving their employees those holidays off.

i am 72 and 1/2 and have never enjoyed crouds and certainly not for shopping!
i once worked in a wonderful nature museum that was open everday except christmas. i didn't mind because i really liked it there and i think we were paid double time. it was a low paying job, but other than childcare, it was my favorite job. we also could switch days with someone who may have wanted to work that day. there are jobs where people can't take off because they are necessary, but shopping isn't one of them.

My sentiments exactly, Ronni. And thanks for those lists. I do all my shopping online, but it's still good to know which stores to patronize and which to skip.

I can't stand crowds and refuse to line up for anything, just to spend my money.

Lemme out of here!

We stayed home on Canadian Thanksgiving, and won't be out running after Canada's version of Black Friday.

What does "Black" stand for?

Black eyes?

After being trampled for a box of stale chocolates?

i was complaining to a co-worker about the opening of stores on Thanksgiving and she shared that it is a generational thing - the younger generations aren't bothered by it. Not all that long ago stores were closed on all major holidays and if you forgot something, you had to do without. Only folks working were 24/7 operations like hospitals, police, fire, nursing homes, telephone service, etc. We lost holidays when our culture changed and we didn't protest opening on New Year's Day, Christmas, 4th of July etc.

Here in Oz those sales occur on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. I'm with Crabby – nothing in the world could induce me to attend any of them.

Technology is changing everything so fast that I wonder what it will be like in 50 years. I wonder, will people talk about the wonder of crowds in the marketplace so long ago? Will people long for these days of myriad opportunities for people-to-people contacts? I don't shop on holidays, but I am sort of glad some shops are open. To give people options. Holidays are anything but fun for a lot of people especially if you have lost a loved one during a holiday time of the year

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