Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving of the Future

Perhaps to be known as the Turkey-Time Tailgate
Forget family and feast. Thanksgiving, or whatever we'll call it in the future, now marks the onset of extreme shopping. The news is full of photos of the frenzy – from tent cities springing up in retail parking lots to the latest body count at the doors and on the floors. Mayhem and madness. And if anyone in the mob had any turkey, it wasn’t cooked by grandma.
We’ve become a nation of tailgaters. What used to be a fun time before the game is now standard procedure for midnight showings of wildly anticipated movies, the sale of popular books or blood-and-thunder games or the latest Apple product - and now for the shopping event of the year.

But is this all bad? Think about it. What is Thanksgiving these days besides an obligatory reunion of relatives who sort of hate each other. The critical aunt. The bossy mother-in-law. The two or more alpha males rabidly routing for opposite teams. The sulking teen glued to the iphone. The rampaging brats.

Now look at the friendly card game of total strangers in a parking lot. Granted, soon enough they’ll be pushing and shoving and threatening to stab each other in the stampede through the door. But the preceding 24-48 hour campout?  Priceless.

And there’s another positive to this, especially in these tough times. Doug Blackburn, General Manager of a Guitar Center, says it best:

Good luck Retail Warriors! Mountain Dew and coffee fueling my day. For those folks braving the shopping safe. We're glad you’re out there. You are a key part of feeding so many families in the industry. The retail sector needs a big Christmas season and this is where it starts. If you're staying home and shopping online for deals (there will be great ones out there) shop on websites that hire people for their brick-and-mortar stores. Amazon doesn't employee anyone in your town. It doesn't contribute to your city's tax base. Time to shine...happy bargain hunting!”

And considering our other societal scourge, isn’t shopping healthier than eating?

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