I’ve always loved Thanksgiving most of all the holidays because of its simplicity. Eating a good meal with family and friends and giving thanks for all we have is a simple, yet profound act.
But this year, something happened on the way to Thanksgiving. Some stores opened as early as 9 p.m. Thankgiving Day, or never even closed for Thanksgiving, according to The Washington Post. Black Friday sales are morphing into Small Business Saturday sales which are morphing into CyberMonday sales…and then the countdown of xx days to Christmas begins.
Forget the over commercialization of Christmas. That battle is lost. The new battle is over Thanksgiving. Because the fact is, the early promotion of Christmas sales takes the focus away from much that is special about Thanksgiving.
What happens when our focus shifts from giving thanks to preparing for “deals of a lifetime” the very next day?
Do we still give thanks for all that we have?
Or do we start planning our shopping sprees?
Does our mind wander to all that we don’t have…all that we could have if only …if only we get to the stores early enough. Is our conversation around Thanksgiving time about “wants” and “needs” and “deals” rather than thanks?
I thought I was immune to this. After all, I don’t rush out to the stores on Black Friday. Never have, doubt I ever will. Our family traditions used to include football on Friday – and we still try to include some outdoor time, continuing the Thanksgiving tradition of giving thanks for the beauty and wonder of nature.
But this year, it seemed the promotions came early and strong into my email box, and tempted me. Did you know there’s an Iphone app where you can sort all your deals? And even my favorite afterschool Lego program is running discounts, along with plenty of green and organic merchants.
We’re still looking for a car, and a car dealer sent me a Black Friday savings voucher. I was tempted to start researching the deals in the car on the way to Thanksgiving dinner…but realized I would then fall right into the trap of commercialism, instead of the celebration of Thanksgiving.
I’m not a luddite. I make my living as a marketer, helping companies and organizations bring to market products, services and causes. But I believe that both green marketers and green consumers need to figure out how to take advantage of the Christmas shopping rush without destroying one of the most beautiful and purposeful holidays we Americans still hold dear: Thanksgiving.
What do you think? Did you notice a change this Thanksgiving?
This is a post for the Green Moms Carnival on How to be a Green Consumer: Black Friday edition, hosted by Betsy at Eco-Novice.
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