Spence: Thanksgiving has always been a favored holiday for me. It's during a time of year when Autumn is in full splendor, my birthday has just passed and family comes together to visit. But, it also means a day of the year when millions upon millions of eyeballs are glued to the television set. This year, it seems the Black Friday shopping day was emphasized more than ever with national news reports, local news reports and advertisements and commercials in print and on television and radio. It's as though Black Friday has become a national holiday. To see KTVU news in Oakland do twenty minutes on people sleeping on sidewalks and stores opening as early as 8pm on Thanksgiving gave me a chance for reflection. Understand, that I create television commercials for a living creating advertising for local shops. This is my 30th Christmas season. I understand the economic purpose of Black Friday. But, now it's even becoming a little too crass for me. It's prompting me to shop more locally than I may have before. I've always tried to shop in Fortuna, Ferndale, Old Town, on the Arcata Plaza and in Henderson Center during the season. The items carried in local stores are more unique and personalized, but I can completely understand the draw of Target and the fever pitch of shopping. I love shopping. Just ask Kate to send me to Safeway to pick up a few items and an hour later I return. It's probably because I'm mesmerized by the merchandising, displays and design. But, Black Friday is not when I want to witness this. I know...Why don't we move Thanksgiving to May and let Black Friday be it's own National Holiday.
Kate: I grew up in a Retail family. 35 years ago Black Friday was a secret that retailers knew about--"did you know that the biggest shopping day is the day after Thanksgiving?" we would say to the non-professionals. Like any trend these days, the media jumped on it and now Black Friday is its own holiday. This morning I had to turn the channel from all of the news shows--both local and national--because I couldn't bear one more mention of it. I even watched an episode of Home Improvement--and I hate that show. Aren't there even better sales closer to Christmas?
I don't think "small business Saturday" and "Cyber Monday" are immune from the over-examination. They are next.
P.S.--Spence shopped at Target last year the day after Thanksgiving. Oh yes he did!
Spence: (Hanging his head low) Yes..but...but....but....