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Black Friday Starting Thanksgiving Morning

(Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

It’s not like ancient history. I remember maybe five or six years ago coming home from Thanksgiving with family south of Sioux City very early Friday morning. My wife and I decided to get in on the “Black Friday” deals and lined up at Kohl’s for their 5am opening. People were so rude and selfish, we vowed to not do it again as peace of mind was worth more than a few dollars savings.

Within the past couple of years, retailers started wanting to get the jump on their competition. So instead of the 5am open, some bumped it up to midnight. Last year, KMart raised the stakes and they announced this week that they are doing it again. KMart will open at 6am Thanksgiving and stay open for 41 hours of “Black Friday” deals.

Tuesday afternoon, Shopko announced they will also open at 6am on Thanksgiving morning.

The scary part is that they’ll be very busy all Thanksgiving Day. It’s not my place to decide how stores conduct their business, but knowing several people who work in retail, I’ve never felt it was fair or right for the businesses to force everyone to work that day.

I know for several years, before I was married and living far away from my family, I would volunteer to work holidays so those that had families could spend the day or at least a good portion of it, with their loved ones.

Why can’t they start with a volunteer basis for staffing? Maybe offer a little extra incentive to work that day. What happened to the days of ‘holiday pay’ where you would be offered time and a half or even double time? Has greed completely replaced family values in corporate America?

That’s meant as a rhetorical question, but I can hear you shouting at your computers a resounding “YES”.

I’ve seen a lot of people posting on Facebook that they will not shop stores that are opening on Thanksgiving, choosing to spend the day with their family and friends in hope that stores will get the message and stop forcing their employees to give up what has long been a traditional family gathering into a huge sales day.

I’ll sign on to that petition as well, but considering Christmas decorations have been out at some stores since August, holiday-themed TV commercials hit the air November 1 and some radio stations have gone Christmas music around the clock already, I don’t know if a vocal minority is going to have enough pull to effect change.

I plan on having turkey and all the fixin’s with my wife and our family of friends on Thanksgiving. My air staff will have the day off to do the same. We’ll all be hard at it again on Friday morning, but that one day, I’m going to spend being thankful for everything I have, and I guess, thankful that I don’t work in retail.

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