The recently coined phrase “Black Friday creep” sounds like the name of a Goth metal band, but it refers to this year’s decision by Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, and other retailers to start their Christmas shopping seasons earlier than ever before. Their doors will now open at midnight on Thanksgiving, which means gravy-soaked Turkey Day revelers must pop a few doses of trucker speed to stay awake for the best deals.
Look, I am a fan of gift buying, gift giving, and gift receiving. I think capitalism – with the proper checks and balances – is a good thing. As a little kid in the ‘70s, I made my holiday wish list from department store catalogs, including Sears, which basically means I am a bred-in-the-bone consumerbot. But the ever earlier onslaught of Christmas retail ads feels like I am being cornered and groped by a shopping mall Santa. If St. Nick is going to feel me up, I’d much prefer he do it around, say, mid-December.
I’m calling for a consumer revolt. Skip Black Friday shopping altogether if you can. Short of that, why not turn Thanksgiving night into an online shopping party? Gather with family, friends, and your favorite beverages ‘round a warm computer screen and max out those credit cards with rounds of drunken impulse shopping. Net result? The economy gets a much-needed stimulus, you get control of your holidays again, and 2011’s gift choices will be more inspired and original.