As we enter into another holiday season, we realize how easy it is for all of us to quickly jump into Christmas mode while the impact of Thanksgiving fades away with the tryptophan. While I enjoy cringing at the start of “The Christmas Shoes” as much as the next guy, it seems a bit unfair that our beloved turkey day gets left in the dust. Stores have traditionally never had respect for the holiday, decorating for Christmas while children were still out trick-or-treating. Yet each year the disrespect deepens to the point to where “Black Friday” has now officially become a higher priority than Thanksgiving.
Black Friday, the day where good people turn into vicious monsters, has gained fame in recent years with the growing bargains of retail stores. As stores compete for who can run out of merchandise the fastest, consumers are prodded with earlier open hours and larger percentage discounts. Only a few short years ago, early starts on Black Friday were 4am. Last year, 4am turned into midnight, and this year has turned into 8pm the evening of Thanksgiving.
As much as it pains me to admit this, the frenzy for bargain shopping and the response by the retail outfits is actually in line with the original spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday. As the pilgrims celebrated the first year’s harvest, each individual at that table was relieved and thankful, because their death inducing labor finally showed fruit. With the first Thanksgiving, early Americans could finally see a future to work towards. Survival would soon turn to growth, and growth would eventually give birth to a thriving national economy. We, the people survived. It was true grit and tenacity that saw to that.
It is true grit and tenacity that will ensure our survival through these difficult fiscal times. Whatever business you may be in, success means rolling up your sleeves and getting into the game. We know that – and we know that we cannot do it alone. The team is the golden egg; just as any team truly is. Companies that have close, tight-knit units will operate with power and efficiency; those that don’t…well, let’s just say it doesn’t matter how early they open on Black “Friday”.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my wife and her willingness to do what it takes for others. I am thankful for friends and family, whether they have been around for days or years. I am excited and appreciative for every future opportunity and will continually be on the lookout for those whom we can help along the way.
The original settlers did what it took to survive and celebrated their success with thankfulness. Now, we do the same to survive in the mall. The times may look different, but the attitude of thankfulness stays the same. Let’s all hope that attitude is in full bloom when the shopping begins, as it is that attitude that made it possible.
Image from Gengame.