How Capitalism May Actually Save Thanksgiving

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(credit: Norman Rockwell)

(credit: Norman Rockwell)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

I have lamented the slow and painful death of the only true American holiday on our calendar for many years now.

Long ago, Thanksgiving became merely an inconvenient edible speed bump to discount Christmas shopping. Stores have turned “early bird” specials that began as Friday morning sales years ago into “turkey bird” specials as many stores are simply opening on Thanksgiving Day, or at least in the early evening.

A pessimist may see this as the final coup de grace for the holiday and simply wish to write a eulogy for the holiday and a bygone era when a meal with loved ones was more important than a great deal on HDTV.

However, all three fans of my blog know that I am not a pessimist. And even during this season of Turkey Day deals, I can find a reason for hope for the great holiday of Thanksgiving.

I believe that the very thing that has nearly destroyed the beloved holiday may actually come to save it.

How can I be so hopeful in a time when “Grey Thursday” is becoming the new “Black Friday”?

My hope lies in the combination of Corporate Greed and American Impatience coming together to very quickly bypass Thanksgiving altogether.

Essentially, sales will need to begin even earlier on Thanksgiving for stores to stay competitive so it is inevitable that Thanksgiving, like Black Friday, will not be early enough to attract shoppers. It’s simply a matter of time until Grey Thursday turns into Slate Wednesday.

Current trending supports my thesis. Stores have opened doors earlier and earlier each year. Most of us remember a time when opening a store at 6:00am on Friday was considered early. Now opening that late is considered almost quaint.

Many stores are now going to open late in the afternoon on Thanksgiving. For that to move to 12 noon on Thanksgiving may only take a year or so.

Then the trend will become to start the day shopping at 7:00am, then go home for Thanksgiving dinner. Soon thereafter, it’s easy to imagine a midnight madness sale before Thanksgiving, even offering the idea that this concept respects families better by letting employees go home by noon to enjoy dinner with family.

What doesn’t kill us truly does make us stronger. That goes for holidays as well.

I am far from a soothsayer on nearly everything. But I think I have this one pegged. Having been a lonely voice against the mobs that have trampled my favorite holiday, I am certainly biased. But in America, we love getting a deal before the other guy, and companies love giving us those deals. That symbiotic relationship nearly destroyed the sanctity of Thanksgiving in recent years, but now those forces are coming together to save the holiday. We may have to wait another year or two to truly get our great day back, but trust me on this one, there is not a store out there that is satisfied that they now open early enough and won’t ever move it earlier.

It may sound crazy to start shopping the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, but if someone said to you 10 years ago that stores would be open at 5:00pm on Thanksgiving Day, that would have sounded even more ludicrous.

Those discount PlayStations that have held our holiday hostage for the past few years will be compelled to give it back. Yes, it will mean a wacky Wednesday experience, but we’re getting it back, trust me.

Whether you spend it enjoying a meal with loved ones or camping outside a box store for a killer deal on new tablet, from my family to yours, we hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Dominic Dezzutti’s Latest Blog Entries

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here usually every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.

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