Didn’t it used to be called “Black Friday” because it happened on Friday?

I am fairly certain there was a time that “Black Friday” (previously known as both “The Day After Thanksgiving,” and “The Busiest Shopping Day of the Year”) used to occur on a Friday. I mean, otherwise it would be “Black Thursday” or “Black Saturday.”

Let’s review a little for the folks just tuning in: Black Friday received the moniker because of the latter previous name it used to have: The Busiest Shopping Day of the Year. The thought was that so many people were shopping that day that retailer’s account ledgers would be going from the “red” (aka losing money) to the “black” (or making money).

Now, what I would like to know is when society deemed it acceptable for major retailers to open on Thanksgiving. What about the employees of those stores? Don’t they get a day to be thankful for what they have? No, instead, they have to spend the day, cooking, traveling, eating, racing around, all for what? So they can show up at work at 7:00pm on a major holiday? When every other everything is closed?

In Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, it is against the law for retailers such as Walmart and Target to be open on Thanksgiving. L.L. Bean was grandfathered in up in Maine, so, lucky you – if you need a new winter parka on Thanksgiving Day, they’ll leave the light on for you. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Because last I knew, L.L. Bean didn’t offer special “98.7% off all winter boots between the hours of 2am and 5am to the first 38 people” discounts on Thanksgiving. Being from the North East, and knowing what I know about L.L. Bean,  I would envision the employees at the store doing just about anything to distract customers from shopping that day.

But when did we decide that we could not wait until 3 am, 5 am, or 7 am for a fantastic deal? At what point did we decided that we needed to leave our loved ones and shop for a better deal on the newest high tech gadget?

When did this:

Turn into this:

I guess the better question would be, when did society decide that we had such a need for these things, whether to keep them for ourselves or to give them away to the people we were, most likely, just spending Thanksgiving with become more important than the time with the people we love?

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.  ~W.T. Purkiser

Don’t get me wrong – I love an exceptional deal as much as anyone else. But is it really so wrong to demand the retail world to just wait a day? Where do they think everyone is going? “Oh, if we don’t open on Thanksgiving day, everyone is going to buy all their gifts in secret during the overnight hours from the black market!”


Just one more day isn’t going to hurt anyone. In fact, it may make some people just a little bit more thankful the day before.


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