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Laureen Miles Brunelli

Saving Money Not as Important as Saving Thanksgiving

By November 20, 2012

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Christmas Shopping Black Friday

I love to save money. In fact, I have written many articles on the subject. I admit I'm basically a cheapskate who loves a sale.

But I like to think that I save money in a sensible way--that I know how to recognize  when saving money is simply not worth it. Maybe quality suffers or the effort eats up my time, and it becomes clear that this "bargain" was no bargain at all.

This Thanksgiving, as a number of retailers are starting Black Friday actually on Thanksgiving night, I feel strongly that saving money by shopping on Thanksgiving is simply not worth it.

It's not worth it for me personally to spend to spend the last hours of my holiday in a store full of strangers, instead of recovering from a tryptophan overdose with friends and family. Plus, while it's about choosing or not choosing to shop for consumers like me, many employees may have no choice about working on their family day.

But more than all that, I'm bothered by the bargain that the American people are making with corporate retailers. Is more stuff for less money truly worth it? If these early openings are a success, then what's next? Will the day we give thanks just become another shopping free-for-all--just an excuse for a sale?

However, if these big box retailers don't make make extra profits this way, they'll figure out a new strategy next year--one that I hope will preserve this all-American holiday. I hope I'm not alone in thinking this way because the only way they won't make money is if people refuse to shop on Thanksgiving. It's up to us.

There are plenty of other options. You can shop Small Business Saturday instead and support businesses in you community. You can do holiday shopping online. You don't necessarily have to wait for Cyber Monday. Or get up early on Black Friday and patronize the retailers that respect family holidays.


Getty/David Ramos

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November 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm
(1) Susan says:

I totally agree. Please, everyone, stay away from these sales so that they won’t become the next big thing. If you don’t have family to spend Thanksgiving with, volunteer to serve to the needy. You’ll get a feeling that no bargain-priced flat-screen can match.

November 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm
(2) Nancy says:

No way am I shopping on Thanksgiving. In addition, I am planning to boycott all of the retailers who are opening on Thanksgiving Day for the entire Thanksgiving weekend. I always shop on Black Friday, but this year Target, Sears, Kmart, Toys-R-Us and Walmart will get none of my money. I figure the only way to tell these retailers how annoyed I am is to spend my hard-earned dollars somewhere else.

November 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm
(3) Amanda says:

There’s no way I’m shopping on Thanksgiving! Aside from the fact that the retailers who are open are keeping employees from their own family traditions, I think having stores open on the holiday detracts from the message that the day is one to be grateful for what you have. It’s certainly not a day to be grateful for all the bargains you can find! I’m disappointed that year after year the commercial aspects of the holiday season impose upon use earlier and earlier. It makes it difficult to teach kids the value of a simple, family-oriented holiday season.

November 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm
(4) Carey says:

Agreed! I’m not shopping on Thanksgiving no matter how good the deal is.

November 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm
(5) Elizabeth says:

I think it’s ironic that on a day set aside for us to be thankful for what we have that we are being urged to go out and buy more. Not me! This year, I am making a conscious effort to buy more locally made gifts and my shopping won’t begin until December.

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