I’ll Pass on Shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, too


A little known media secret: we reporters tend to laugh at the people camping out in line on Thanksgiving waiting for the stores to open on Friday…the so-called Black Friday.

Case in point: A few years ago we interviewed a woman who blew off Thanksgiving dinner so she and her family could wait in line at Best Buy. They camped out on a cold sidewalk at 11AM on Thanksgiving Day, knowing full well the store didn’t open until the next day. By the time our report aired at 11PM, they’d been there 12 hours, and the store wasn’t scheduled to open until the next morning. What a great Thanksgiving!

Something is really wrong with that. What could be so important inside that store to throw away a whole day? They could have been home having a Thanksgiving dinner, and don’t say they couldn’t afford it. If they could wait 18 hours for a $400 video game, they could have had dinner. For the record, I like getting bargains as much as the next guy, but I won’t be wrapped in a sleeping bag on cold concrete to get a good deal.

This woman below has been camped out in Tampa, Florida since November 22, waiting for the store to open November 29th. She told a reporter that “you can be thankful any day,but the sale is only on Black Friday.”


When the iPhone went on the market, we interviewed a high school student who skipped school to get one of the first phones, and the kicker: his mother called in sick to her job so she could sign the paperwork for him. What did she tell his principal? Keep in mind the phone was still going to be available when the boy got out of school in the afternoon. This is just plain wrong. But, thanks to the mom for doing that, because it gave the Eyewitness Newsroom a hearty guffaw.

We in the media are guilty for promoting this craziness. We encourage this madness with all our coverage of Black Friday even though as reporters interview sleep deprived shoppers huddled in the cold they are thinking “what’s wrong with these people.”

There are questions I want answered:

1. When you are camped out for 16 hours where do you go the bathroom?

2. Are you concerned your children are cold?

3. What about eating?

4. What are you teaching your children about the meaning of Thanksgiving?

Black Friday has turned deadly in some cases. In Staten Island, New York a Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death in 2008 the moment the store opened….crushed by a throng of shoppers who’d been camping out all night waiting for bargains. In California, two people were shot while arguing at ToysRUs. What kind of person brings a gun to a toy store?

Is it really worth it to go through all of this to save money?

I’ll wait for cyber Monday and celebrate Thanksgiving at home.

-this post is based on a post of mine from 2010, but remains timely today

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19 replies »

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. When we started shopping back in the late 70s ‘we went out about eight or nine AM and we’re done buy one. This was our mom and my sister and I. We bought for our two husbands from mom and dad, for our dad from both of us, and my sister and I would help mom out buying for each other. We all bought for my sisters both boys & Mom took us out to lunch. Yes we were done before 1:00. In addition to having had a great Thanksgiving holiday, we made more memorable moments the next day.

    Thanks for letting me reminisce about the good ole days.


  2. I totally agree!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day with your beautiful wife and adorable children.


  3. I wish the stores would go back to the days when stores were closed on holidays. What could be so important that a stores needs to open on Thanksgiving of all days, not only taking employees away from their families, but, shoppers rush through their Thanksgiving meal, only to rush out the door for what, TO GO SHOPPING! I like the way it was years ago, when families got together on Thanksgiving, and planned their shopping trips for Black Friday. Afterall, that should be the start of the holiday season. Every year, my husband and I watch Miracle On 34th Street, the newest version, on the night before Thanksgiving. it’s so nice to see families watching the Macy’s Parade, then enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. Then we see the stores open on Black Friday, and the holiday shopping season begins. Thats how it should be now.


  4. No I will be cooking dinner & making desserts! I have never gone out on a Thanksgiving to shop! I consider it family oriented! Shopping can wait! Happy thanksgiving to everyone at channel 3


  5. I will be home enjoying my wonderful family and the child I’m so thankful to have. He will grow up not to be thankful for things but for family and service to others. It’s truly what is important. Not best buy camp outs!


  6. Ants martching the question is r u the queen or the drone too many r the drone n forget that but for the consumer the seller would not exsist so u choose who u want to be


  7. I agree whole heartedly. Stores should be closed in Holidays. My family and I will be spending Black Friday decorating the house and writing cards to be sent yo our deployed service men and women.


  8. I have one deal I am going out to get Thanksgiving morning at Kmart.Buy 1 get 1free on footwear.Going to get my kids winter boots.They are like $30 each so 2 pairs for $30 instead of $60.The second deal I want to get I am hoping I will be able to score online tonight after midnight if not I will be heading to Walmart after dinner in the evening.It is also not one of the hot deals but it is almost half
    price from $49.97 to $25.So that is it for me for Thanksgiving and black friday shopping.


  9. I’m disappointed that the stores are open this morning. I can handle tonight, but let everyone remember and be thankful…while we all should show it every day, that rarely happens and Thanksgiving is a nice reminder to do just that. I liked it when the stores would open at 4-6am on Friday…now, Black Friday is Thursday? Goes against the concept. So far, I have seen nothing worth the time, but I promised to take my 16-year old out…guess I will be waiting in line and helping her to experience the tradition. As for fighting over a toy or trampling people, stop already and get to know the people waiting in line with you and for once mind your manners (and mouths…the language folks use so freely is disrespectful). Thanks for letting me rant and enjoy your Thanksgiving!


  10. We have totally lost it in terms of the real reason for the season. Time spent with family and friends, sharing a meal, and sharing what you have with someone less fortunate is far more important than “scoring” a deal on some electronic device. Sorry, retailers, you are wrong by being open on Thankgiving or opening in the middle of the night. Granted you are making money hand over fist which is your goal and people are doing what you want them to. At almost 63 I think back to my childhood when we got used bikes and were thrilled. My mother struggled to keep us fed and in warm clothes and a warm house and we were happy. Wish more would think about this insanity and realize what is far more important to the human spirit. I also want to support small businesses this Christmas and the big box stores not so much.


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