Each year it seems to get worse. I can remember just a few short years ago when the stores battled as to which of them would open at 4:00 AM on Black Friday. It kept getting moved back to a point when I remember Midnight as the time that the Walmart doors would open. I guess it was only a matter of time before the store opening crept into the actual day of Thanksgiving. Now, stores are announcing that they will be open at 6:00 or 5:00 PM on Thanksgiving itself.
Why have Thanksgiving at all when consumers could be out there spending money on plastic cards that they do not have the ability to pay off? Turkey dinners could be advertised by the fast food restaurants – “Grab a Turkey sandwich and a coke for only $4.95” seems appropriate. Think about all the stores along the Thanksgiving Day Parade being open so the parade watchers could take a break and grab a gift for Uncle Clarence or Aunt Millie. Now we can’t let the Mega Malls off the hook, can we? They should be open 24/7 as well. In fact, why should the banks, the stock market and the State and Federal Offices and the Post Office not be open?
The only exception should be the churches. The churches should be closed so people won’t be tempted to stop and worship or pray. No point in praying as the churches themselves will soon be closed for lack of use. I kind of like the idea that the churches open on days like Black Thursday so that shoppers might take a break and tour, for a fee of course, the churches and learn what it was like back in the 20th century when congregations and clergy were alive and actually worshipped.
Black Thursday seems a natural outgrowth in today’s commercial world. Thanksgiving is now known by many as “Turkey Day.” With our new “extended” family structure, it is hard if not impossible to get a group of family members around a table to celebrate a meal. We cohabitate, we divorce, we change partners like sox and more and more people have adopted the single life. Hard to have your kids over for dinner if your ex objects or it is not your week to have custody. We have made life more and more complicated.
I grew up in a time many years ago when Thanksgiving was a day to remember what our country and we as a people were thankful for. We gathered as a family around a table and carved a turkey with dressing and many side dishes. My grandfather carved the turkey as almost a ritual. He was the senior member of the family. Now if we celebrate Thanksgiving at all, we watch video games, we watch football, text while eating with our iPod or iPad in our lap and there is no longer any conversation as it distracts from our texting. We seem to never eat as a family in our new society. We eat when we are hungry or between events or after the Detroit Lions game. Is it time to chuck it all, grab our cell phone, and head to the Mall? Maybe, Black Thursday has arrived.