When the Thanksgiving turkey has been devoured and the pumpkin pie is gone, in some homes the real frenzy begins. Many celebrants of this fall tradition find it hard to maintain their composure as the clock ticks away until --"go time". The annual rush to get to the neighborhood big box store has begun.
I have watched perfectly normal everyday men and women, behave as though; if they don't get this one item at 90% off - they will explode. I have actually witnessed a middle-aged woman push a wheelchair- bound individual over in order to reach an X-Box gaming system at our local Wal-mart. The system was at 80% off for the first few hours of the sale. The sale started at 12:00am. There were a limited number of systems available. The woman was wearing a sweater with lettering that said, "Don't worry be happy." I have talked to several employees at that store and have been told of similar events on "Black Friday."
In the waning years of the last millennia, many major chain stores would open as early as 6:00am Friday morning, following Thanksgiving -- stay open 24 hours non-stop until Christmas Eve. Now, some large retail organizations have chosen to open the early evening hours of Thanksgiving day.
Thanksgiving is one day, the American people set aside each year to pause and give thanks to God for provision. It is not a religious celebration per se. President George Washington declared it a day of thanksgiving and prayer, November 26, 1789. Historically, many Americans including myself, believe the Pilgrims created the first Thanksgiving after a brutal first year, following their arrival in the "New World." The Pilgrims, from Europe, landed in what is known today as; Cape Cod. The landing site has been under contention for many years, but most American history books proport it to be Plymouth Rock.
What was meant as a somber day reflection, has now turned into a day of turkey, football, and shopping; not at all how Washington envisioned the holiday.
The shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve is a time that retailers generally produce most of their sales for the fiscal year. It is make-or-break time for many of them. Indicators for our US economy are predicated on how the holiday shopping season goes.