Capitalism is one of the many freedoms I happen to enjoy in life. I like living in a country where there isan economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. I guess that would make me a capitalist. What is doe not make me is a consumerist. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping for special gifts for people but....shopping is not my god. I remember a few years ago when the government gave out a stimulous package and encouraged Americans to go out and spend...spend....spend! The people listened and went out and bought stuff they did not necessarily need....just because they could. Our entire economic system seems to flow that way now....buy stuff. The more you buy....the better it is....just buy. It does not even matter if you can afford it. Don't invest. Don't save. Don't be smart with your money....just run to your nearest retailer and spend your money. Shopping has become the god of all gods. Capitalism is bad.....consumerism is good. So I guess it makes the upcoming holiday, created by my ancestors as occasion to give thanks for what they had, now a consumerist ritual and nightmare where people descend upon shopping malls and other stores to accumulate more things we really don’t need just because for two hours it has a special price. My great grandparents enjoyed a special meal and praised the Lord for the food on the table and the friends and family gathered around it. Food they grew, planted, gathered. We, eat quickly, gather around a television set for a few football games, then rush out to get in line for the sales and trample little children who should be home in bed. Up until K-mart decided to change their policies Black Friday and Thanksgiving coexisted. We thanked God for His blessings on Thursday, and then headed out early on Friday to grab the television set for under a hundred dollars. Thanksgiving for me and my family offers tradition, family and contentment. We socialize, we sing, we eat way to much, we love each other. Some of us will hit some Black Friday sales but most of us will still enjoy the company, watch football, sing, be together. It saddens me that this year Black Friday has taken Thanksgiving too. What has happened to family time? You know that people who work for those companies are having to leave their family so people can go out and fight for things they don't need right after they were thankful for what they did have. It does not make sense. I cannot believe that so many of the big chain retailers will be opening during, or before, dinner time on Thanksgiving. Walmart, Kmart, Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s are some of the ones I have heard named. I remember when Walmart was family oriented. My mom worked their for over 25 years and never missed a Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I was shocked when I found out that Kmart would be open starting at 6 AM on Thanksgiving morning, offering great Black Friday deals for 41 straight hours. Those moms and wives who cook the Thanksgiving meal....will be working....this year. If they are not working....they may be shopping. Why? Is the almighty dollar so important that the family has to be crucified for it? I want to know if the frenzied shoppers will take a little time off from their shopping to spend a little time around a table holding hands and eating with family....or will that be a tradition from the past. Well....I am a purest. I don't want to see Christmas stuff out before Thanksgiving. I also am not loving the crude cheeky word play commercials that have been popping up. I shop throughout the year and truly want to be finished before the feeding frenzy begins. I am going to be with my family on Thanksgiving Day. We will watch the Macy's Parade, cook together, eat together, sing, play games and enjoy the daylights out of each other. Will I be taking advantage of the bargains? I can assure you I won't be. You see....I’m not going to force some single mom, or grandparent, or dad to ring up my worthless purchases instead of enjoying Thanksgiving with their children. I feel terribly sad for these employees who will be there, in their name tags and their vests, smiling, waiting rude customers while their families eat without them. I am just one person and I cannot make a huge difference....but I will have my say....and I am not shopping on Thanksgiving. Family is important to me....whether it is mine....or someone elses. I know that all these employees choose to work here. Yes, I realize that they should be thankful that at least they have jobs. And some of you will be justifying your Thganksgiving Day shopping spree with that thought. But you COULD also wait until Friday and everyone could celebrate with their families...but then you might miss that 200.00 television at Best Buy. And the next step of losing our family traditions our forefathers worked so hard to protect will be done. I know.....Thanksgiving is just a holiday and counting your blessings is not all it is cracked up to be....right?
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
8 months ago