Abolish Early Black Friday Sales? Conforming to Convenience?
This year as Black Friday ads started rolling out, I was surprised to see sales at 8 PM and 10 PM on Thanksgiving Day.
My first response to these types of ads was, well, next year stores will roll out Black Friday at 5 AM on Thanksgiving Day.
Now, I appreciate a good sale just as much as the next shopper! I love to find a bargain! If I need to get gifts, I don’t mind shopping weird hours to get that deal. Yes, sometimes I even find the experience fun!
However, I was very much taken aback by the early start to Black Friday this year. I’m not going to lie and tell you I vowed to boycott it. I actually wanted an item on a 10 PM sale, and had it not been pouring rain Thanksgiving night I would have made the drive to purchase it. You see, by that time of night both of our family gatherings were well over.
The lure of a bargain coupled with the fact it fit my family’s Thanksgiving schedule overruled my opinion that it was morally wrong and unfair to the retail employees who had to work prior to the sales. I was willing to sacrifice their Thanksgiving Day for my opportunity to purchase something I really don’t need anyway.
It’s funny how we allow ourselves to be persuaded that something is ok if it benefits us, but we fight against it if we’re the ones on the other end. I would hate it if I was the employee for those big box stores. You know they have to go to work if scheduled. They have to earn a paycheck, and jobs aren’t easy to replace these days. You don’t have the ability to say, “Sorry. It’s Thanksgiving. I can’t work that day.”
Now, I try not to talk too much politics. I am always frustrated by how much control government already has over me, so I try not to give it any more power by talking about it. However, I’m a little intrigued today. While reading through my facebook feed I discovered a politician is introducing legislation to stop Black Friday from starting on Thanksgiving.
It’s a sad day when I’m considering rooting for a law that regulates when a business can be open. For the most part I believe we already have too many laws, too much micromanagement by the government. But something inside me cheered when I read the article.
And then I decided to see what the general public’s feelings on this topic has been this afternoon. It seems that many people support legislation of this type, or at least employers putting their employees before Black Friday.
And almost as many believe that employers should be free to open their businesses whenever they want without interference from the government. Many made statements that family’s had 364 other days to share a meal. Others felt that if employees didn’t want to work on a holiday then they could find another type of job or just tell their employer they can’t work that day.
It seems to me that we have come to value individual’s rights over individuals. How sad that we can tear a situation down to what the law says is legal with no regard to what is morally right, or even more important, scripturally right.
No, I don’t think the Bible has a stance on our American holiday of Thanksgiving. Although, giving thanks is mentioned many times over in the Bible. It is important that we set aside time to give thanks for the many blessings we have been provided.
It is also important that time is set aside to be spent with family. In the creation story the Sabbath was set aside. I can remember when the law was passed that allowed business to be open on Sundays. I will never forget when we traveled to Cape Girardeau to the campus of Southeast Missouri State University for a Girl Scout award ceremony. After the ceremony we asked a resident Girl Scout leader what time the mall closed on Sunday. Her reply has stuck with me into adulthood.
“I voted against the bill to allow them to open on Sundays. I do not know their Sunday hours because I refuse to shop on Sundays. Sunday is for God and family, not for shopping and errands.”
That is conviction. It might be convenient to play catch-up on Sundays. It might save my pocketbook to shop on Thanksgiving. But it is a true testimony when we stand firm on our convictions and live out our faith.
I do not know if this legislation to put a stop to stores opening on Thanksgiving will go any further than the news and a few blogs. I’m not even sold on the idea it should become a law. I do have to challenge myself and those of you who take the time to live life with me to examine our own lives to see if we are truly living our convictions or if we are conforming to the convenience of this world.
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