Too bad Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving

Published 10:57 am Thursday, November 14, 2013

Column: A Happy Medium, by Erin Murtaugh

Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. It comes and goes and suddenly the holiday season is in full swing.

In fact, Thanksgiving can’t even completely end before the holiday shopping season starts. Black Friday has become a popular “holiday” for those looking for deals on gifts.

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I hate Black Friday.

I used to work at Shopko, which participates in the Black Friday craze. The first year I worked for Shopko — 2011 — I worked a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift. Even though most of the deals began at midnight, the shoppers never stopped coming. In 2012, I worked a 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. shift.

Yes, that’s right, I started at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night until 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Working in the retail industry is generally a fun experience because of the high energy and holiday tunes that play on the radio. In fact, I love it because it gets me that much more excited for Christmas and winter break. Shoppers are, for the most part, excited for the holidays and fairly cheery.

Also, there’s nothing like the jingle of a Salvation Army bell ringer and the sound of money being dropped into their red buckets.

The holiday season is also the season of giving. So when it comes down to it, shouldn’t part of your giving be giving back if you are financially able? Drop some change into the Salvation Army buckets, donate to a food drive, buy a toy for a toy drive or donate your old winter coat.

There are many people in our community and everywhere else who could use help in at least one of those areas. If you aren’t financially able to donate items or money, consider volunteering. Help with a toy drive, sign up to ring bells or help at food shelf. The possibilities are endless.

When you’re considering going out to shop on Black Friday, at least make sure it is not interfering with your Thanksgiving family time.

Also, be kind to the Black Friday retail workers. They work extra long shifts on this day, and by personal experience, I know customers can get a little protective over their sale items. Calm down. It is only a material object.

I miss the times when Black Friday meant getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. to shop. It’s really not even Black Friday when it starts on Thanksgiving Day. So this year, keep in mind what is truly important during the holiday season.


Albert Lea resident Erin Murtaugh is a senior at Albert Lea High School.