A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Black Friday ruins the holidays for families in retail

My parents have worked in retail for nearly my entire life. My mom has worked at The Home Depot since I was a little under a year old and my dad has worked at Target since I was seven. Recently I also got a job at Target. Unfortunately, as the Black Friday “holiday,” has evolved over the years, it’s forced our entire family to push a traditional Thanksgiving dinner into a lunch.

This year, Target opens at 6:00pm for its doorbuster deals. My dad has to be there sometime around four since he’s one of the people who help set merchandise for this event.

Our time gets shortened everything Thanksgiving because Target opens earlier and earlier every year. I hate this more than words can describe.

Not because I work in retail. I hate it because it’s ruining my dad’s Thanksgiving. He works overtime hours the week leading up to Black Friday because of how crazy customers can be, and the demand for the store to look nice before the big event. I rarely see my dad during the break.

Then because of that, he’s always exhausted on the day of Thanksgiving. We end up getting to my grandparents house an hour or so before the rest of my dad’s siblings do, we eat the food that’s set out already, wait for the turkey, eat the turkey then say our goodbyes and head home so my dad can get at least an hour of sleep on either the way back or at home.

All of this is because of Black Friday. It’s not really anyone’s fault that things are the way they are, it can just be frustrating when the retail industry has no consideration for families who could be spending valuable time together.

I can understand why families would want to save the money for Christmas gifts, but I think it would make more sense for Black Friday to be held closer to Christmas when it’s more relevant.

If you’re someone who goes Black Friday shopping, please remember to be nice to the people working, because they have families too, and they’re giving up their Thanksgiving dinner to give you the deals that you so badly want.