CDP Editorial: The thin black line | CraigDailyPress.com

CDP Editorial: The thin black line

For several years now, a well-defined line has been established to separate the day when we as a nation give thanks for what we have from the day when we as a nation frantically pursue acquiring more.

Sure, it's a little ironic Thanksgiving is followed directly by Black Friday. But that thin black line maintained separation.

Even as some stores started opening late in the evening on Thanksgiving rather than waiting for midnight, the holiday remained mostly intact. By that point in the night blessings had been said, thanks given and turkey eaten, and anyone too traditional or grouchy to think about shopping on Thanksgiving was in a tryptophan coma or lost in football by the time the end of the evening approached.

In other words, the line made sure there was amble time for giving thanks on Thanksgiving.

This year, that line was crossed.

Big box stores opened even earlier — at 8 p.m. Thursday — prompting many people around the country to forgo their entire Thanksgiving evening and stand in line instead, waiting to buy more on a day that is supposed to be about counting the blessings we already have.

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We think this change is not only an assault on a great American holiday, but on the holiday season in general.

The holidays are a busy time, filled with many opportunities to endure the stressful endeavor Christmas shopping inevitably turns in to. There are far fewer opportunities to stop and truly reflect on the season without the bustle of life getting in the way.

The fact that the first of those limited opportunities — the literal start to the holiday season — is being neutralized by the perpetual growth of American consumerism doesn't sit well with us. After all, it's pretty hard to find the season's good tidings when you're in a shoving match with 15 other people over a discounted flat screen TV.

The issue becomes more difficult to dissect when it comes to assigning blame.

Given how good the Thanksgiving day sales reportedly were for business, it's pretty hard to blame the stores for offering them. Conversely, we're not interested in telling any parent who relies on these sales to provide their children with a memorable Christmas that they're doing something wrong.

It seems that on a national level it will be up to both sides to restore that thin black line to it's rightful place.

When it comes to the business side, we hope the big box stores will realize that customers will be there whenever they decide to start their Black Friday sales.

In fact, moving the start time up seems almost arbitrary. As long as all the major chains decide to recognize Thanksgiving again, no single chain will get a jump and there will be no reason to infringe on the holiday.

As far as the customers are concerned, if the big box chains don't foresee a large interest, they won't be motivated to start their sales so early.

It's easier to constructively avoid the Thursday "Black Friday" sales on a local level: participate in Small Business Saturday. Not only will this keep you out of the mall on Thanksgiving, but it also helps support the local business community, a vital part of our economy.

Whatever the means, we hope Black Friday's constantly-expanding influence is curbed, and soon.

Otherwise before long we'll be lining up outside Walmart on Halloween.

Our View

As big box stores continue to push up the start of their Black Friday sales, we contend the true meaning of Thanksgiving is being neutralized. We hope the stores as well as the customers will realize how unnecessary the earlier start time is and return Black Friday to the confines of Friday.