Black Friday Bleed-through

Growing up, my family’s Thanksgiving traditions were fairly simple: Bake pies the night before, get up early and cook all day on Thanksgiving (I have always been in charge of the deviled eggs) and await the arrival of our extended family.

Then … hug, laugh, eat, drink, play games, take naps, eat again and relax together.

Another tradition my mother and I had was to make fun of anyone crazy enough to go out on the day after Thanksgiving and stand in throngs of people to get deals on toys or clothes or whatever. “Those people are insane,” we’d chime in together.

About four years ago, I crossed over to the dark side. I became one of those insane people, getting up at 3 a.m. and taking five-hour energy shots. I blame my husband. And this one really amazing deal on a television at Walmart, which tempted me into starting a new tradition. (We still have the TV and it was a really good deal.)

But, even a good deal doesn’t excuse the recent trend of retailers moving up their shopping hours. Kmart, for instance, opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and stayed open for 41 additional hours.

Kmart isn’t the only culprit. Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s, among others, all opened earlier this year. At least, with the exception of Kmart, the retailers opened at 6 p.m. or later.

An issue that is also in play is the never-ending battle between brick-and-mortar retailers and online options. More companies are beginning their online deals earlier while brick-and-mortar operations are looking for ways to stay relevant.

While I am not one to tell businesses that they shouldn’t open whenever and however they want to, I can at least do my part and not support it. So there might be a great deal on pots and pans at Kmart this year, but I won’t be there to find out until after Thanksgiving is said and done.

If you decided to go out on Thanksgiving, I hope you remembered that your employer gave you time to be away from the workplace, but not everyone gets that. Hopefully you were courteous to those employees who helped you get through your holiday shopping, and took a moment to thank them for their hard work.

Giving thanks … that’s what the holiday is for anyway, right?