Thanksgiving in my house was always a strange day. G. would cook this huge dinner—an enormous turkey, two types of stuffing, enough sides to choke a horse and at least two types of pies—for three people. My mom and I never ate too much. I usually ended up sick afterward and she was thinking about bed because she had (and has) to wake up early for Black Friday.
My mom doesn’t shop; she’s one of the many people who works in retail. She always has. Growing up, I worked in the stores she managed but I was always spared on Black Friday. To this day, I avoid malls or any other store like the plague the day after Thanksgiving. I know first hand the chaos and I prefer a simpler life, one that doesn’t involve fighting crowds, stalking people for their parking space and standing in long lines.
But for all of you bargain shoppers out there, here’s another way you can prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year, compliments of University of Utah marketing professors. Arul Mishra and Himanshu Mishra have found that the types of food we eat, such as turkey, make us behave less impulsively. In other words, if you’re looking to spend less this holiday season, eat a good Thanksgiving meal.
I’m not sure that I buy this. For years, the stores that my mom has worked at have beat out the prior Black Friday. And Americans aren’t getting any thinner. The husband and wife’s research was based on surveys administered after Thanksgiving dinner. There could be a good 8 hours before you see a cash register after you inhale all the turkey and trimmings. However, now that the time between dinner and your favorite stores opening is diminished greatly (I know of some places that are opening at 10 PM on Thanksgiving) maybe the gluttony of the holiday meal will mean restraining the credit card. (And well, there is also the economy.) We will have to see.
Whether you decide to shop until you drop or do anything else (there’s a kickball game in Palm Springs that I would like to attend), enjoy Black Friday. It’s a holiday tradition that is truly unique.