Black Friday, Plaid Friday, shopping or not

The Mom and Pop shops in my neighborhood participated in Plaid Friday.

The Mom and Pop shops in my neighborhood participated in Plaid Friday.

Over the past few days I have seen many of my friends post on Facebook over their dislike for Black Friday and whatever Thanksgiving night shopping is called.

Most seemed upset that retailers were making their employees work on Thanksgiving night.

I personally have never participated in Black Friday shopping. Mostly because crowds make me anxious. I also don’t think it is worth it to save a few bucks to battle crowds and lines. But if you love it, more power to you.

I grew up Catholic and Christmas had a religious meaning to me. I am now a non-practicing Catholic and love the meaning of the holiday with family and friends. But I am grossed out by the overwhelming commercialism and greed of Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the season. I love the lights, having a tree, Christmas music, holiday cards, the idea of giving, holiday parties, etc.

In my family we no longer give Christmas gifts. We all have what we want and what we need. So we give to those who don’t have what they need or want.

OK, I am going on a tangent. The point of this post was about those who have to work on Thanksgiving.

If you have a problem with people working on Thanksgiving then you could always boycott … but that would mean not just boycotting Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc. You would also need to not watch or read the news, don’t turn on the TV or radio, don’t buy gas, don’t get sick and have to go the hospital, don’t take a taxi, don’t go to the grocery store, etc. I think you get the idea.

I worked in newspapers for about seven years. I worked most holidays, weekends, every election night, whenever big news happened. Three-day weekends didn’t exist unless you took vacation days.

There are many who have to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas and other times many of us don’t even think about. Nurses, doctors, police officers, journalists, some in retail, gas station attendants, hotel staff, airport and airline staff, paramedics, firefighters, taxi drivers, a few yoga teachers …

Last year Curt and I spent Christmas in Tucson. We stayed in a hotel. Because I wanted to be supportive of those working that day I made sure to let them know we appreciated them. We made sure our hotel maid was compensated and the girls working at the Starbucks hotel got an extra big tip that day and our valet was also taken care of. Yea, it sucked that they had to work. But we appreciated that they did and we made sure they knew it.

You are welcome to participate in Thanksgiving or Black Friday shopping or not.

There is also Plaid Friday shopping, where you can support local businesses. Curt and I live in an area where it is mostly Mom and Pop shops.

According to this article, Plaid Friday was conceptualized in Oakland, CA, a city known for strong shop local campaigns. Plaid Friday strives to bring back the days when shopping for friends and family during the holidays was a pleasurable and leisurely activity.

OK, this post just kinda went all over the place.

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