The steady creep of Black Friday into Thanksgiving Day happened in a series of moves. It started with "doorbuster" sales at 6 a.m., then 5 a.m., even 4 a.m.
Like a clock counting closer to midnight, the beginning of the holiday shopping season crept on, only this timer ran backward.
Now, some stores are opening Thanksgiving Day.
This might not bother some people, specifically the ones who go shopping; remember, if no one would shop, the trend would stop.
Thus, stores can't get all the blame. While some family members play games or converse following the big meal, or try to watch a football game and the insides of their eyelids at the same time, other members might seize the chance to bond over checking items off Christmas lists. Shopping has become a recreational, social activity.
But shopkeepers certainly can be complicit in keeping people away from home on this family-oriented holiday. Sales clerks, plus folks who stock the shelves and set up displays of merchandise, may be called away from Thanksgiving Day gatherings to staff stores.
There's a possibility this trend of an ever-earlier start to the Christmas shopping season could lead to stores again being closed on Thanksgiving Day. The same retailers that bring us back-to-school sales in mid-summer, and display winter coats in August and swimsuits in March, eventually may turn Black Friday into Black Wednesday.
This would be a good thing. The Christmas shopping season would start earlier. And more folks could be home for the holiday.