I’m not a Black Friday person. I never have been. For me the day after Thanksgiving is used as a sort of “boxing” day in my house. We clean, we donate items (including a lot of neglected toys from last Christmas), we prepare for the upcoming Christmas season. We eat leftovers and play games and I will, on occasion, check online retailers to see if anyone is running any amazing sales. But I don’t go out shopping. I hate crowds. I hate people getting shot in crowds while standing in line for a three dollar coffee maker. So it’s with dismay that I just learned that Toys ‘R Us is joining Wal Mart in opening their doors on Thanksgiving, the actual holiday.

I know a lot of parents rely on Black Friday to get the bulk of their shopping done for the upcoming holiday season. The economy sucks, Barbies are expensive, and if someone wants to wake up at 3 a.m. and stand in line in the cold to buy shit then that is their prerogative. It just isn’t mine. I’d rather have less under the tree than less time with my family on an actual holiday, a day when we are supposed to count our blessings and give thanks for all we have. But this turning Thanksgiving into a day of shopping is really starting to piss me off. I know no one is forcing me to go out shopping before I have eaten a second piece of pie, but when more and more retailers are making this a thing will the days of a relaxing holiday with family and friends soon be as nostalgic as whatever piece of overpriced plastic garbage we waited in line for last year that is now broken at the bottom of the toy box?

From the LA Times:

Toys R Us will open its doors to Black Friday shoppers at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than last year, joining the crowd of retailers launching door busters barely after turkey dinners are finished.

8 p.m. is not shopping time! It is having another glass of wine and putting on Christmas music and cuddling with the kids on the sofa time! And it’s not just me who is annoyed by this, think of the retail employees who have to cut time with their loved ones short and rush in to work so they can deal with aggressive and yelling customers.

Not everyone is pleased with the earlier Black Friday hours. Workers and shoppers have created more than 20 online petitions on Change.org asking retailers to delay opening so they can have more time with their families on Thanksgiving.

The world can have its Black Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. Toys R Us is ruining Thanksgiving not only for parents who would rather spend time enjoying the holiday with their families rather than shopping but for the people it employs who are expected to show up to work and cut their holiday short. I may have to look longer and harder to find whatever hot toy my kids want for Christmas. I may have to spend a few more dollars to purchase it. But I’ll be spending Thanksgiving the way I always have, full on food, warm with my family, and slightly drunk on the sofa.

(photo:  charles taylor/shutterstock)