It’s here, it’s here! Finally, it’s Thanksgiving Week and I am so excited (insert a Happy Dance). I am fairly certain that it is the absolute BEST week of the entire year, and it is finally here.
There are so many things I love about Thanksgiving, and I promise not to rehash my dinner prep story from last year. If you want to read it again, check out my blog post from last year, “Keep Calm and Kerri On: Confessions of a Thanksgiving Turkey”.
This year I am going to talk about the second-best part of Thanksgiving … and that is the start of the holiday shopping season: Black Friday and Small Business Saturday!
If you thought I got excited about Thanksgiving, then you haven’t seen anything yet because Black Friday is my jam. I feel very strongly about not doing anything Christmas-y until after Thanksgiving. No shopping, no music, no Christmas décor. Thanksgiving should be honored and appreciated in all of its glory. But, come the day after Thanksgiving, it’s game on!
There are very few reasons I would get up at 3:00 in the morning, but Black Friday is top of the list. Each year my friends and I pile into my friend Tracy’s van and set off to the Binghamton area to kick off our Christmas shopping.
Back in the day, we would stand in line outside for what seemed like hours waiting to get inside a store. Over the years there have been countless hours waiting at Toy R Us, Kohl’s and Target just to get inside for those door buster deals. I have a lot of great stories where I triumphed in getting the must-have toy of the season, and there is a very funny story about my battle over a Cabbage Patch “newborn” doll. I’ll have to save that story for another time.
Black Friday has changed so much in the last few years. I remember how upset I was when stores started opening late on Thanksgiving Day. That first year they started opening at midnight of Black Friday and then the following year stores were opening at 6 or 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day. This made me very sad and angry.
Yes, I get that Black Friday can get a little crazy. Standing in line, in the cold with so many people made the morning so insane. But that is part of what makes it so fun! When stores started opening on Thanksgiving, it was such a capitalistic and greedy decision on behalf the retailers. I think you all understand how I feel about the Thanksgiving holiday and to make people work instead of being home with their families, all for corporate greed was inexplicable to me. In fact, the first year that they did this, I made a deliberate decision NOT to shop at those stores for Christmas. I also carried my soapbox around with me and got into some heated discussions with those who actually shopped on Thanksgiving Day. It was one thing for these large stores to be open on a holiday that is meant for family, but the consumers who chose to leave their families and go shopping were just as bad and kept feeding the frenzy. I kept saying to people “if we don’t shop on the holiday then stores won’t open”. But unfortunately, the need for savings overrode the very meaning of Thanksgiving and so the endless cycle continued on.
I am very happy to say that this year, many of the large chain stores have chosen to not open their doors on Thanksgiving Day and have gone back to the traditional Black Friday setup.
I am so happy about this!
Whether the reason is due to lack of staffing, COVID or maybe the heads of these companies finally grew a conscience, the hard-working retail employees can once again enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday as it was meant to be. I applaud the businesses that chose to keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving Day this year, so I will un-shun them in appreciation.
The holiday shopping fun doesn’t stop on Friday.
After you catch up on your sleep and eat some Thanksgiving leftovers, the retail therapy continues with Small Business Saturday. This is your opportunity to support the local retailers in your community. Support local, shop local, shop small – however you choose to name it, the important thing is that you look no further than your own communities for those locally owned, small retail businesses.
To help with this effort Commerce Chenango has launched an “Everything Chenango” campaign. This past week we shared a video on our Facebook and Instagram sites that highlights each and every community throughout Chenango County.
During this holiday season we will be posting community specific ads and asking you to mention, tag and share your favorite local places to shop in each community. There are hidden treasures everywhere, many of which are off the beaten path. This is our way of highlighting those small business owners and sharing more about who they are and what they offer, and we hope you will help us by participating.
Just please do me a favor and remember your local retailers on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season. The owners of these stores and service providers are your friends and neighbors. They’re the first ones that show up and offer help when your local groups and organizations are looking for donations or support. Let’s do them a solid and support them during this holiday season and through the entire year.
In closing I would like to wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving! And whether your Black Friday plans are online shopping in your PJ’s or, like me, out and about in the middle of the night, have a fabulous time. Remember to hydrate, pace yourself, and above all else please STOP before you drop!