Thanksgiving shopping gets out of control

Thanksgiving, as the name so aptly implies, is a day to be set aside to give thanks for what we have.
Dec 5, 2013


Instead, it has become a day when retailers across the country attempt to lure in shoppers with dreams of what they could have.

Black Friday used to be the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, and that’s great. Those who don’t mind the crowds and love to find great deals can have a field day on the day after Thanksgiving.

Of course, there are always those few die-hard shoppers so desperate to save a few bucks on the latest and greatest electronic gadget that they’re willing to camp out for a few days in order to be in the front of the line when doors open.

But this year, Black Friday spilled over into Thursday. Many retailers offered huge discounts on various items starting at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.

We can’t blame the shoppers for heading out and snatching up these deals. That’s their prerogative.

The retailers who chose to open their doors, however, need to take a step back and take a closer look at the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday.

People should have the opportunity to spend the day with family and friends, reflecting on the blessings they’ve enjoyed over the past year. It’s a secular holiday, so even those without religious affiliations celebrate with turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

But when major retailers decide to open on Thanksgiving, it’s not the boss in the big office with the cozy leather chair who has to give up his or her holiday. No, it’s the other employees — many of whom work for not much more than minimum wage — who are forced to abandon their family holiday celebrations and head in to work.

To make matters worse, they’re forced to deal with waves of rabid deal-seekers on the most hectic 24-hour shopping stretch of the year.

At a time when we should be taking time out of our busy schedules to reflect on all we have to be thankful for, Thanksgiving has instead been transformed into a day of want and greed.

It’s a sad way to celebrate this special holiday.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.


Barry Soetoro

I see it as a preview of the Zombie Apocalypse.


Ha! You're pretty funny for a republican. :-)

Barry Soetoro

Hey now, watch the name calling or I'll have to flag you for moderation ;-)


Yeah, like that's never happened before.... :-O

deuce liti

I find it interesting that you have at least two articles showcasing materialism and black thursday/friday shopping,

which one could say adding to the problem (though people will always argue whether or not you change or add to the subject you are studying [ie: you are promoting this behavior by giving attention to it]),

But now you have an article chastising black thursday/friday shopping.

There is no emoticon for how I feel.


Is there a problem with replacing thankfulness with Materialism and greed? People can't be thankful for what they have when they don't have what they want. I myself spend the entire day with those I love and eat lots of food. As for Black Friday, I'll go if a deal is worth it but if I don't get it, oh well.




Perhaps the employees want to work it. 1.5x pay on top of holiday pay means that 8.00 an hour employee that usually makes $64 a 8 hour day makes $160 by working 8 hours on Thanksgiving.

$64 holiday pay they get regardless if they work + $96 for time and a half holiday premium if they work 8 hours.


Simply put,this is all market-driven. Does the Tribune think people are so dumb that merchants FORCE them to shop on Thanksgiving? "We can't blame the shoppers from heading out and snatching up these deals." Right. The evil retailers need to "step back" and find the true meaning of Thanksgiving. How paternalistic! Merchants exist in order to make a profit. That profit is facilitated by responding to the needs and wants of the market - AKA "the people." Shoppers can either take part in what some see as madness, or not. It is their choice. Merchants are responsible for treating their employees fairly, and doing an honest business. They are NOT responsible for the moral choices of their public.


Very well put.


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