Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Don't get mean when hunting for deals
Black Friday has become a modern-day monster. Every year, it encroaches more and more on a day meant to be a quiet time for reflection and giving thanks.
Now, many major retailers across the country are opening their doors at 5 or 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, which intrudes on both employees' holidays and pressures shoppers to sacrifice relaxation and family time in the name of getting an early start on Christmas shopping.
This is not a new trend. Major retailers have been slowly creeping into Thanksgiving territory for years. Now, the Thanksgiving holiday is not only being lost to consumerism, but also the push forward by major retailers is hurting the prospects of locally owned small businesses that allow their employees to spend the holiday at home with their friends and family.
This year, we propose shoppers try something different for Black Friday. Instead of allowing nationwide companies to dictate when and where it's time to shop, it's time for Victorians to stage their own Black Friday revolution. This year, why not stay home for Thanksgiving to enjoy a full day of rest and then shop at locally owned stores to fill your Christmas needs with products that are unique to Victoria and offer a much more direct impact on our hometown economy?
If you do venture out for Black Friday, please remember to be polite and courteous when dealing with fellow shoppers. Yes, the stores will be crowded, and the feeling of competition is high, but saving a few extra dollars is no excuse to pull out the professional wrestling moves on aisle 12. Stories have accumulated over the years of fights over items, injuries from overcrowding and even a death in 2008 when a Wal-Mart worker in New York was stampeded by customers when the store opened.
As lines form, strategies are formed, and stores prepare to open, please remember to treat each other with respect. Don't snatch items from each other, don't cut in line - a woman was arrested in 2011 for jumping the line at the Victoria Target - and don't panic. Even if the stores run out of the specific item you are looking for, the shelves will be restocked.
Thanksgiving is past, but we encourage our readers to remember the spirit of the holiday. Be thankful for what you have and let that spirit of gratitude spill over into Black Friday. Good luck and happy bargain hunting.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.