The headlines after Black Friday are always the same, year after year — record crowds, a few instances of random violence and a strong start to the holiday shopping season.
I get it: retailers want to get a jump on Christmas sales, and they know most people don’t have to work the day after Thanksgiving. So they lure people in with deals and whip up a frenzy with an advertising blitz.
But what are we sacrificing in our quest for a cheap television set? Many retailers chose to open on Thanksgiving Day this year, depriving both workers and shoppers of valuable time that could have been spent with family.
There are two things people should be doing on the day after Thanksgiving — eating turkey sandwiches or hunting. Or both. Anything past that is just not right.
I can’t really blame the retailers for trying to gain every edge that they can, it’s the nature of business. But I do question the sanity of anyone who is willing to go out at 3 or 4 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving to fight enormous crowds and traffic just to get a deal.
We need to get our priorities straight. A holiday that was once about recognizing the many blessings we’ve been given has been shamelessly co-opted and transformed into just another example of our culture’s fanatical obsession with material objects.
You can’t take them with you when you go.
Michael Gebelein is managing editor of the Lincoln Times-News.