Thanksgiving or Thanksgetting?
On Thursday, people gave thanks for what they have. The next day, they rushed out to buy things they want—whether for themselves or to give to others.
Thanksgiving has all but disappeared from the major media landscape. The Halloween candy wasn't even down to only Smarties when Christmas trees appeared in stores.
Black Friday sales didn't even wait for Friday this year. There were several retailers who decided to bump up the rush by opening the doors Thanksgiving night. Walmart's Black Friday deals started at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving, according to the Journal Sentinel. And Target stores opened at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving, according to Bloomburg Business Week.
In 2011, sales were estimated to be $11.4 million—a 6.6 percent increase over 2010—according to a CNN report on Black Friday sales. But almost half of them were buying things for themselves, 11 percent more than reported doing so in 2010. It's hard to believe that trend will reverse itself this year.
But there are a few places trying a different approach.
There's the online effort 30 Days of Gratitude—which has spawned its own viral Facebook movement, with people using a status update every day in November to post one thing for which they are thankful. There's Buy Nothing Day—the same day as Black Friday—which encourages people to avoid the retail scene altogether on that most-hyped shopping day.
Some have started petitions against retailers opening early, like this one against Target's Thanksgiving night deal-making. And a Kenosha woman started a petition asking Walmart to give employees Thanksgiving off, rather than making them stock shelves and prep for the 8 p.m. opening.