The dear holiday of Thanksgiving died last year when retail stores made the decision to open their stores a day early. Sadly, none of us got a chance to say goodbye.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday used to come hand in hand as a holiday tradition: eat an incredible feast with your family, then wake up early the next morning to go shop with them. However, considering last year’s turnout, Black Friday was not soon enough for consumers.
For the second year in a row, the retail stores will again be opening on Thanksgiving Day as early as 4 p.m., which happens to be prime time for most “Turkey day” dinners. Big Lots is even opening their doors as early as 7 a.m., completely disregarding the Thanksgiving holiday altogether.
Who is to blame for for the elimination of Thanksgiving? We could easily point the finger at the CEOs for putting their employees to work a day early, but it is only partially their fault. At the end of the day, it is and always has been our choice to ditch our families and the feasts. We made the decision to head out to the mall and load up on those $5 pajama sets.
According to a survey by LoyaltyOne, there is a specific age group which is more likely to cash in on the Thanksgiving Day deals: Millennials (ages 18-34). About 50 percent of millennial consumers believe all-day shopping on Thanksgiving is a superb idea.
Is the existence of Thanksgiving at the mercy of millennials and their decision to shop on the fading holiday? Yes, actually it is.
Older millennials are young adults, some with new families and homes, and this is the group most likely needing the hot deals and discounts, according to a Forbes article by Laura Heller. In addition, shopping on the holiday is considered a social experience for younger and older millennials alike. This combination of social connection and consumerism has become a clear-cut reason for stores to stay open on Thanksgiving and for the many years to come.
As an older millennial, I confess to have been one of the many young shoppers scouting for deals on Thanksgiving day last year. For a moment, I felt a little dirty when I made small talk with the cashier at Michaels, a woman who said her daughter and husband were waiting for her to come home with their Thanksgiving turkey simmering in the crockpot.
However, being the penny pincher I am, that feeling of guilt went away fairly quickly when I knocked almost 20 people off my Christmas list. I came home and paraded my purchases around the house proudly.
So, It is indeed true. As a proud member of the millennial population, we are the reason for the death of Thanksgiving. Consumerism has taken precedence over holiday memories, and it will continue to do so if the price is right.
Rest in peace, Thanksgiving. You will be missed… kinda.
Let’s move on to Christmas already.