On the 150th anniversary of Thanksgiving, we may have witnessed the final Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Starting in 2014, it will be called the Macy's Black Friday Parade. This came as a shock to me, so I called repeatedly until I could get a representative of the company to talk about it.
I eventually reached Tiffany Ashley, a company spokesperson. When I asked her why the retail industry has become so casual about ruining a traditional family holiday, she told me "Thanksgiving is so yesterday! It is not something most people do any more, and was just a pre-Christmas anyhow. Better to use that day to be more ready for the real thing. Make it a day of shopping! Who doesn't love shopping? Bargain hunting is a modern-day sport." She went on to tell me how Macy's has been the leader in opening Thursday night so bargain hunters can beat Friday morning shoppers the punch, and score the good loot that will be gone by the morning. She also went on to say, "We will not keep consumers waiting like Nordstrom and Costco do."
I asked her if any employees have expressed reservations about having to work that day. She said, "If any of the employees have a problem with that, they should shut up! Having a job is something they should be thankful for, and if they try to call in sick that day, we'll can their lazy butts. Besides, employees don't make us money like consumers do, they cost us money! They all need to realize that they can be replaced, but let's not talk about them, let's talk about the Parade!"
She told me, "any floats or balloons that do not have a specific advertising message will be dropped. There will be no entertainment just for the sake of entertainment. All the marching bands will play Christmas carols. Pop stars will sing commercial jingles for things the public can find at Macy's. We will not waste any opportunity to remind consumers that now is the time to show loved ones and friends how you feel in a tangible way, a way words can never match. We used to only do that at the end when the fat man in red shows up, but now the whole parade will make a point." Ms. Ashley Went on to say, "I just can't wait for the First Annual Macy's Black Friday Parade!"
A tradition seemingly as old as Thanksgiving itself is coming to an end, thanks to commercialism. I personally am disgusted. Maybe they will back down if people complain. I have never liked the term "Black Friday" to begin with, and don't believe the urban legend about it being the first day they turn a profit. It sounds to me like something horrible such as the beginning of another world war or a terrible natural disaster.