My friend Cristi likes to shop. I do not. She also likes to shop on Black Friday. Again, I do not. It’s not protesting sanctimonybecause I don’t like Black Friday – it’s because I don’t like to shop. I can think of nothing worse than being forced into a situation where EVERYONE in the world is shopping at the same time. I honestly think that I would have a panic attack and hide in a sales rack. Except some loon would probably think I was a mannequin and strip me clean.

There were a lot of folks upset this year that some of the big box stores like Target, Wal-Mart and Toys r Us were opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving day.The posts on Facebook from Cristi and others who were partaking  was a combination of fun laced with defense as if they had to seek some kind of forgiveness for being out on Thanksgiving night. People have spent all week protesting the stores and the shoppers who dared to go out Thursday night.

The horrors!! Everyone screamed. Greed in America! Let the people be with their families!

Really?

Folks, the boat to retail salvation sailed a long time ago. Once stores started opening up at midnight on Thanksgiving night you knew the end was near. I predict within two years, they won’t even close on Thanksgiving day. As long as you have people camping out a week before Thanksgiving, it’s a battle that will never be won.

It’s your choice whether you shop there or not – if people want to go – don’t criticize them. Let them go. I’m not saying that I agree with the executives of these stores who make these decisions and sit on their piles of cash as their hourly workers take the brunt of their decision, but I also know that it’s not going to help much.  We are an incentive driven society and nothing drives us like a great deal dangled in front of us with an expiration. The people who shop on Black Friday do it for the game – the rush of accomplishment.

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Along those same lines – stop looking down your noses at people who shop at big box stores on any given day. I love the “buy local” move –  I think it’s really important and key to our local economy. Big box stores have been putting Mom and Pops out of business for years and that’s a shame. But there are times when you really don’t have an option especially if you have a large family. There is no way that you can afford to feed, clothe and gift a large family at smaller stores. It’s just not feasible if you’re on a budget. So instead of telling people they should “only” shop local, perhaps start smaller and say “buy local when you can”. That’s manageable.

Just like the elections, everyone has their opinion about this topic. Personally, I’m just tired of people judging everyone else FOR their opinion. We shouldn’t have to be afraid of voicing our opinions or explaining our actions unless they’re illegal. Then it’s worthy of speculation. But until then, let people do what they want to do. They’re adults and know what’s right for them and their family.

And if what’s right for them is to duck out at 9pm on Thanksgiving night to scoop up some killer deals, then shop on friends. I’ll be sitting here researching the deals I can get on Cyber Monday.

Kristen

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