On Sale Now: Thanksgiving Spirit

Holiday ideals have been abandoned in exchange for consumer goods

To Jones students, November usually means two things– no school and Thanksgiving. Between long weekends and holiday festivities, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.

However, students aren’t the only ones who have something to be excited about this holiday season. With businesses expected to profit over $616 billion between now and New Year’s, department stores and malls all over the country are gearing up to launch into holiday sales and promotions- by using Thanksgiving week as their starting point, turning it into yet another over commercialized American holiday.

As the newest generation of consumers, stores are now looking to high school students to start bringing in a part of these holiday profits. While marketing towards a younger generation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, using Thanksgiving as a launch into the shopping season shifts our perceptions of the holiday from giving thanks to buying products.

As a high school student with an extremely low budget, it’s a challenge living in a very materialistic culture. With the pressure to have the newest iPhone or most popular clothing item from both peers and social media, it’s hard to resist the attraction of sales and promotions.

Big name brands, from Macy’s to Sports Authority to Apple, take advantage of the allure of deals during the holiday season. These “Turkey Day Sales” plague the shopping scene from Monday through Thursday, which can lead to students to spend most of their long weekend shopping over spending time with their families.

In addition, many stores have refused to close on Thanksgiving in order to allow shoppers to get an “early start” on Black Friday shopping. Popular Chicagoland malls such as the Fashion Outlets of Chicago and Old Orchard opened their doors last year for Black Friday shopping at 6 pm- on Thanksgiving, cutting down the holiday itself.

As we become more materialized as a culture, the less we are able to truly connect with one another. The holiday season is a time for families and friends to come together, to celebrate what they have and what they hope to be. So this Thanksgiving, help out in the kitchen instead of browsing sales online. Instead of rushing through dinner to start Black Friday shopping, enjoy the food and the company and shop in the morning. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, celebrate through the presence of others, not with the presence of a credit card.