Driving back to our motorhome Thursday evening, we were shocked to see the local WalMart parking lot filled to capacity with people scarfing up early bird “deals.” Even the Office Max parking lot was full. Are you kidding me? On Thanksgiving?

I refuse to shop at any store that is open on Thanksgiving Day. We all bitch about greedy corporations who force their employees to work on holidays, but they would not be open if people were not there shopping. There is nothing you need so bad that it can’t wait until Friday. Really, who needs office supplies on Thanksgiving Day?

Somebody said they agree with general retail stores, but that grocery stores should be open in case you need some last minute thing for Thanksgiving dinner. No, what you need is a piece of paper and a pencil to make a list in advance. When I was in the Army I lived in a state where they still had Blue Laws that prohibited most stores from being open on Sundays. I have always been addicted to reading local newspapers, and I don’t remember even one story about anybody starving to death because they couldn’t go to Safeway on Sunday.

I know that there are people that have to work on holidays. We spent Thanksgiving Day at a hospital with a very sick friend, and I applaud the medical people who were there instead of home with their families. We found a local restaurant and grabbed a bite to eat. I appreciate the folks there, too. Not everybody has a family to have dinner with, can be with them for whatever reason. There are cops, firemen, bus drivers and others who work on holidays. I get that. But people selling copy machines, or big screen TVs, or the latest Xbox?

For the last week there have been people camping out on the sidewalk in front of big box stores so they can be the first inside the door on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday. One fellow interviewed had taken two weeks off work to be sure he was first in line. The retail industry calls these folks dedicated shoppers, but I believe the correct term is idiots.

How much can you save even if you don’t get trampled in the stampede when they unlock the doors and you are the lucky one to get to those two or three deeply discounted toys? $50? $100? $500? Whatever it is, how much is your time worth? The guy they interviewed on TV said he expected to save as much as $1,000. I’m not a wealthy man and I think I know the value of a buck, but I’ll be damned if I would skip work and spend two weeks sleeping on a sidewalk for $1,000. Would you?

It’s a lot easier to wait until January, when all of that same crap is on sale, usually for a lot less than those “special” holiday prices.

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23 Comments on Greed And Idiots

  1. Jerry Wilson says:

    My wife and I drove to our local Wal-Mart to see how many people were there. Like you, we won’t participate in the Thanksgiving sales, but we were curious to see how many people were there so we just drove by the parking lot.

    The place was packed. Every spot was taken and cars were parking along the side of the building because they couldn’t park anywhere else.

    Judging from what I’m seeing, both locally and on the national news, I think this is the new norm as far as holiday shopping is concerned. It makes me sad because Thanksgiving is supposed to be about appreciation for what we have and this kind of shopping frenzy is pretty much the exact opposite of that.

  2. Francis (Cal) Callahan says:

    I think every town and city should have an ordance to stop all the stores from opening on Thanks giving Christmas and Easter the idiots don’t need to be shopping on those days and the greedy business men need to be home. I lived in a blue law state and can rember you couldn’t even go to the movies on sunday

  3. I guess it just goes to show how trainable “sheeple” are. We are conditioned by hours of advertising on TV, in print, and by email to believe that this kind of shopping is the thing to do. It is treated as almost a religious experience. Yes, I do shop in these “temples of consumerism”, but will faithfully stay away during peak “worshopping” periods and would NEVER go on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.

  4. George says:

    Are you just mad at them because they are rich? (Love that one)

    It is just capitalism and that is what makes America great! (grin)

    At least you are consistent. Many people believe what I said above, but abhor stores opening on Thanksgiving. How do you wrap your head around that? It must have been what the Fox say. What the Fox say always makes perfect sense.

    Long live unchecked capitalism! It’s working! Hahaha!

    May the great divide become more divided.

    A fool and his money are soon parted!

  5. Wouldn’t you love to dress up as a bear and tear all those tents at Best Buy down?

  6. Kris says:

    Our three daughters always get together to go Black Friday shopping, but they refuse to start before midnight. They go as much for the prices as the fun of going shopping with a million other people in the middle of the night. Not my definition of fun, but I am no longer in that age group, what do I know?

    The ironic thing is that most of these stores are also online. You can order the Black Friday deals on their website, for the most part, and get it delivered free. That’s my choice:-))

  7. Rex says:

    When I first moved to Missouri in the early 1970’s there were Blue Laws and like Nick said, you made a list and stocked up on Saturday.
    I realize that corporations owe it to their stockholders to make money, and yes George the system works unlike socialism that does not work. However, I can see no reason for big box stores to be open on Thanksgiving. I appreciate the drug stores, restaurants, hospitals etc that are open. But this is America, Land of the Free and it they want to open that is their right. I for one choose to exercise my right and spend Thanksgiving with my family and friends. I do not shop on Black Friday either.

  8. Nevada Dave says:

    Amazing isn’t it !!!! Where did it all start ??? On the temple steps with the money changers in bibicial times?? We all seemed to be equiped with that evil word GREED.
    Is the stores being open any differant than Nick hawking his books on the website daily in his blog?. The more coin of the realm in our pockets, The more we preseive our status/power here on this pile of rocks. Wealth =’s POWER.
    AND wealth makes us Godly in our minds. PEOPLE Baaaahaaa

  9. Jan Mains says:

    I wonder if the media wasn’t covering the stories would these people be out there. Bill and I won’t be shopping anytime over the weekend.

  10. Candace says:

    1 kid I read about camps out ” just for the experience “. He even leaves right before the doors open so he doesnt get trampled. IMHO he needs more real life experiences and letss video game experiences.

  11. Sandy Boroff-Kruty says:

    Walmart is not the only one open. The retail box stores now have to compete with Amazon…open 24/7 on-line. They are now working 11 hr days to keep up with the demand. I have never shopped on Thanksgiving or Black Friday…nor will I ever. You couldn’t pay me enough money to get in that crowd.

  12. Dale says:

    Nevada Dave: If you think you’re being funny, IMHO, you’re not. I found the “money changer” comment downright prejudicial.

  13. Steve says:

    One of my favorite FB posts says: “Isn’t it funny that people trample each other to buy new things exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have?” :-)

    I always laugh at that one, but now it appears that it occurs on the same day…. :-(

    As a conservative I believe that government should have a very limited role in the marketplace, but here is an example of where some simple laws were necessary and good. Getting rid of the “Blue Laws” was a mistake, and for the sake of families everywhere I wish we could bring them back.

  14. Rob Fox says:

    You can spend time ranting about the crazies who join the shopping crowds or the greedy retailers that can’t imagine wasting a good selling day. Both parties are the willing.

    Spare a moment to consider the retail workers who have no say in the matter. They cannot be with family on the holiday. I don’t suppose they are given an option to work or not.

    It is a question for society. If Thanks Giving Day is really of national importance, then you must have a debate and legislation as required.

    Or just leave it to the market and to hell with the consequences.

    Who rules …… the people or the market?

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I applaud your comments!! Having worked retail, let me tell you it is hard enough to find time to be with your family for holidays (we could not have gone anywhere else, out of town, where our kin lived…only stayed in town). And then you make those poor people work the ONLY day they get off during the holidays?? The store I worked at began to stay open on Christmas Day even just for 5 hours and since we could not go out of town anyway and lived only 4 blocks from the store, my son and I both offered to work that day. We let the kids open their gifts on Christmas Eve and always had, so the only thing was my son and I were not home for those 5.5 hours…well, it always bothered my youngest that we did so. Who could know? I think there are some days that everything other than hospitals, and emergency care, plus a gas station, and a couple restaurants (for those who were doing what you were yesterday), should be closed entirely. There needs to be more opportunities for entire families to gather…in fact, for entire extended families to gather…one part of my mom’s kin did that…something that I and my cousins still treasure…and today that likely would never happen, because someone or other would be forced to work!! To me, more than the greed, which is bad enough, I feel there is a concerted effort to encourage separations in families!! We need support of family time…not destruction of it. And you are right…we do not shop on these days, no matter how good the deals are!! We are not shopping today either (black Friday)…hate crowds no matter what one might save…so spend less, buy less…and shop at less crowded times. People’s manners are worse then too!! You are 100% right on this one, Nick!!

  16. Pete Gray says:

    We spend our summers in Canada. All retain stores are closed for holidays. They believe that their employees deserve a holiday also.

  17. Diane says:

    Well this is one of those things that there is no right or wrong answer in my mind. If Nick or anyone wishes not to go shopping when the store opens its door then that’s O.K by me. But how many of us have our family dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas on some other day than Thanksgiving and Christmas day. I know we do because our family is so large. Many of us even go to many dinners on Thanksgiving Day. As for the store being open, if you don’t want to go shopping don’t, and if you do great it doesn’t hurt me one way or the other. We all love the parade’s and football games. A lot of people are there watching are they doing something wrong? As for the money saved, I don’t know about many of you but $300.00 would get me to Florida right now and believe me I wish I was there.

  18. JB says:

    I’m with you on this one Nick, I can’t see a reason for stores to NEED to be open on holidays, just one of the reasons I prefer Costco over Sam’s Club. But a friend of mine asked, if folks are so upset over store employees having to work on Thanksgiving, why are the same folks not upset about all the staff at football games having to work. Food for thought

  19. Dave W5 says:

    Well Thanksgiving is so much more than shopping and getting more stuff to throw away before the next shopping day the media trains people to go to earlier each year.
    My wife said to me the other day lets go and we got in the car and went to the thrift shops shopping for fleece bathrobes,Blankets and Tee shirts. After we found a bunch that by tag should of cost 150.00 but wife got them down to 50.00. We went home opened the folding table and got out the machine. She’s quite good with the machine. We cut the material into 12 inch strips. She sewed them in side out and then reversed them so the seams would be inside. I folded the 75 of them she had sewed and pressed and put them into a few boxes. We then put them in the truck and drove to the local shelter where people were having a Thanks Giving Meal and handed them out to each one that came out.
    Unfortunately we only had 75 and there were at least 200 people eating. Some with 2 and 3 children. But we could go away knowing that at least 75 will be warm that night.
    She found some material she could make a tag out of that say LOVE on them. So it has become “The Wrapped In Love Project”.

    That my Friends is what Thanks Giving is all about. Just saying!…
    Dave

  20. Barb says:

    I have never shopped on a holiday. I hate crowds and don’t understand why anyone would enjoy (camping out) for days to get a deal on a tv or computer.
    But, the only thing scarier than shopping on Black Friday is people who want to legislate what days a business can be open..

    We lived in Colorado Springs back in the late 80’s. We could not understand why car dealer ships were not allowed to be open on Sunday, but most other kinds of businesses were.
    Talk about unfair laws.

  21. Steve says:

    Growing up in Massachusetts there were so-called “Blue Laws” that forbid almost all businesses from opening on Sundays and holidays. The only exceptions were gas stations and very small convenience stores. It was very nice having a day that everyone knew was “off-limits” :-)

    This is one of those issues that separate Libertarians from Conservatives. A Libertarian takes a much more hands off approach to this where a Conservative believes that it’s important to support family time and for the religious, church time.

  22. Jerry Wilson says:

    I really think Black Friday – and the fact that it has spread to Thanksgiving – is the strongest evidence we have that the libertarian view of capitalism is naive. The American people simply don’t have the willpower to maintain a self-regulating free market.

  23. Tookie says:

    I agree with JB—all the uproar about the clerks not spending Thanksgiving with their families is stupid. The military, police of all kinds, hospital employees, firefighters, Amtrac personnel, and yes the football staff work on Thanksgiving. After the do-gooders have flailed at stores and shoppers for being greedy they stuffed their sanctimonious faces and then waddled their over-filled bellies into the living room to watch a bunch of over weight men fight over a football and whop one another on the butt—who got paid handsomely for “working on Thanksgiving!!

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