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Jenna Lake, Published December 12 2013

Letter: Even Thanksgiving is not safe from the frenzy of Black Friday

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I am again struck by the irony of our society. We take the day which has been set aside for giving thanks for the blessings in our lives, and follow it by a day which brings out the ugly side of humanity: Black Friday.

In recent years, we have seen a trend of Black Friday activities encroaching their way into Thanksgiving Day. Browsing through department store ads, many boasted saying such as, “Stores opening at 6 p.m. Thursday evening.” Some stores opened as early as 4 in the afternoon on Thanksgiving Day. For many Americans, it is likely they were still gathered with the people they shared their meal with. Some stores, such as Best Buy, have been the site of shoppers camping out, sometimes between three to seven days early. Perhaps these people are looking for the 70-inch TV, or a laptop or other electronic device. But all of them are looking for big savings. Do these people have jobs? The time it took waiting could have put money earned into their pockets.

I know for myself, no hot ticket item out there is that important or urgent.

Some online sites have put out lists of tips for shopping. One tip I found ridiculous was posted on an article found on abc NEWS, which instructed shoppers to hide things they viewed to be good deals; then going on to say that while they don’t encourage it, shoppers have been known to do it. Other tips included instructions such as dress for comfort, even if it means digging into your dirty laundry basket, but no worries, the smell will help keep people at arm’s length. Or “If you’ve got to be rude, at least be polite about it.”

I have nothing but respect for stores that waited to begin sales until Friday morning. Fleet Farm ran a radio advertisement that detailed why they weren’t opening until Friday morning, citing traditional family values, and consideration for their employees to allow them time with their families.

In a society that has continued to do its best to commercialize every holiday we celebrate, I can’t help but wonder where people will find themselves once they realize true happiness isn’t found in monetary goods.

Lake lives in Menahga, Minn.