Since we are getting closer to the major holidays, I thought holiday shopping would be a good topic right now.
So, here’s the question: Do you shop on holidays?
My goal is to not shop on holidays anymore.
Retailers have changed the meaning of holidays. They have turned them into sales: New Year’s Day sales, Valentine’s Day sales, Easter sales, Mother’s Day sales, Memorial Day sales, Father’s Day sales, Fourth of July sales, Labor Day sales, Thanksgiving sales (Black Friday), and Christmas sales. When I look at the meaning of each of these holidays, I don’t see “go out and buy something” as part of it. (And yes, I do realize that Christmas is a gift-giving holiday. So, we’ll let that one slide.) My point is that these holidays are not holidays merely so we can go out and buy things for companies to increase their bottom line.
Businesses used to be closed on holidays, especially small businesses. Over the years, major retail chains began opening earlier and earlier and staying open later and later to compete with each other. Now there are small businesses open on holidays they used to be closed on because they feel the pressure to keep up too.
I remember when Black Friday sales used to begin at 8AM. Then they started opening earlier and earlier until they got down to midnight on Thanksgiving. Then some of them decided to go ahead and cross that line and open Thanksgiving evening. Is that really necessary?
Last year more companies decided to start their sales earlier and spread them throughout the week of the holidays, instead of just one massive Black Friday sale. I think this is a step in a better direction, but I still feel they need to scale back the extended holiday hours.
Our culture has really become one with a “must have it now” attitude. If I need batteries for the remote at 11:00PM, I should be able to go get some. By golly, if I want a cheeseburger at 1AM, I should be able to get one. We don’t always think about the fact that somebody else has to be at work during those times for us to have what we want.
There are other cultures where shops close in the early evening and don’t open again until mid-morning. When it comes to holidays in those cultures, many businesses will close several days before the holidays, or even the whole holiday week.
Could you imagine that happening here? People would lose their minds! They couldn’t possibly make it all night without something, right? And how in the world could you go a week with a business being closed?
I’m not saying we should do everything other countries do. I’m just asking that we bring back the importance of family time and enjoying holidays, not just for us, but for those who work behind the counters. I get that some people don’t mind working the holidays, but there are many that do.
Every time you walk into a store on a holiday, you are giving that business a reason to stay open on that holiday, keeping some, if not all, of those employees from spending time with their loved ones. So, I encourage you to think about this next time you are ready to buy something on a holiday. Start planning ahead. Get what you need before the holiday. Give business owners reason to let their employees be with families on the holidays again.
Be brave! Break the cycle. Make a difference.