Giving Thanks or Going Shopping?

by Jen Gluckow

Were open on Thanksgiving! Seriously?

My response is: I won’t be there you greedy bastards. Thanks for letting me know who to avoid.

Every employer who is asking an employee to work on Thanksgiving is pissing them off and their family off.

Way to go!


Black Friday was coined in the 1960s. Before that it was just a thick newspaper that came out on the day AFTER Thanksgiving. It marked the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.

Black Friday is all about the store when they go from red (loss) to black (profit). But why isnt it about the consumer? Why dont they call it Consumer Friday or Happiest Time for Consumers to be Anywhere on the Planet?

Heres a timeline about how Black Friday has changed:

When from 1900-1961 it was just a thick newspaper that came out on the Friday following Thanksgiving and everyone looked forward to it because it was the biggest paper of the year tons of inserts and coupons stating the deal, and you looked through it, and then went to the store.

1961- until 2000 – Creeping commercialism began.

Stores began to advertise early. Decorate early. And have big sales leading up to Black Friday. But every store remained closed on Thanksgiving.

Early 2000’s – Stores began opening at 6 AM on The Day after Thanksgiving with what were known as door-buster specials. In other words, you snooze, you lose. And people began to line up outside the store at midnight to save a few bucks.

From 2005-2010 – Stores started opening earlier at 5:00 AM or even 4:00 AM The Day after Thanksgiving. And the internet began to be a driving force. Making shoppers smarter and keeping shoppers at home. Why should I wait outside at midnight to save $20, when I can go online to amazon and save $30 and never leave my house.

2011 – Stores open at midnight and the only people there were the people not on the internet. And Cyber Monday has evolved into Cyber Every Monday.

2012 – Year of the beginning of the real Black Friday death. The death of integrity. The death of honoring families and death caused by greed. (See also: Money Ball, the Wolf of Wall Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs you dont die right away, but eventually its over.) Stores began to open at 8 PM on Thanksgiving DAY!

2014 – Stores opened at 5 or 6 PM on Thanksgiving DAY.

2015 – Deals are starting before Thanksgiving! Amazon started their Black Friday Deals on November 20th – 8 days earlier than the actual day. And some stores are opening at 3 PM to get a head-start on their competition! My inbox is full of ads like Black Friday all week, and Black Friday blowout, and Black Friday week starts now, and Sneak a peek at the Black Friday ad.

I assume next year Black Friday will now start the Friday after Halloween.

Will Cyber Monday become Cyber Thursday to try to beat out Black Friday?

I am all about a profit, but not at the expense of Thanksgiving. It seems our country is so profit-driven, that people (maybe even you) are forgetting to be thankful, forgetting to spend quality time with family, and hey, isnt that what Thanksgiving is all about?

IDEA: If Thanksgiving sales are starting early, then why dont we start being thankful early?

Heres what to do:

Make Thanksgiving Day a family day and a personal day to reflect what youre thankful for.

Spend an equal amount of time being thankful as you spend watching football, surfing the web, and looking at social media. Start your morning with reflection and a gratitude thought.

Take a thankful PAUSE when you wake up on Thanksgiving. Put the pause on TV, on your smartphone, on the internet until noon.

Spend more time in meaningful dialogue, reflection time, thankful time, planning time for your family time, not just Black Friday.

To help get your thinking going in the right direction, here are a few things to be grateful for:



Quality of life





People who have helped you along the way.


And since Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, why dont you GIVE THANKS and SHOW THANKS.

Last week I came home to a bunch of thank you cards that were hand-written and mailed to me. People who I had helped were grateful for my help and told me the impact my work, my ideas, and my help had had on them. These cards made me sit and reflect on who I have become. They were heartfelt, sincere and genuine.

Can you imagine how I felt? I was surprised to receive the notes, instantly happy and proud. But can you imagine how it made the senders feel? They must have felt GREAT when they put those cards in the mail.

Make a list of the people you want to give thanks to and do it! Not only will the receiver of the cards feel great, but you will too. Showing your appreciation and giving thanks feels great.

Take a thankful day this Thanksgiving. Be grateful. Be humble. Be present. Its the best present you can give to yourself and your family.


With co-host Jeffrey Gitomer, we bring in top sales professionals to give you the best advice to kick your own ass.