UNITED STATES—Gosh, I can’t remember when it became a tradition in my family where after the big dinner we’d head out to the malls and retailers to nab unbelievable deals for the holidays. I mean Black Friday as it used to be called was something that brought a level of uncontrollable energy and excitement. I mean how often are you able to get up at 2 or 3 in the morning to hit the retailers? Not often.

With that being said, a tradition of hitting the stores the day after Thanksgiving has slowly moved into Thanksgiving Day. Yep, for the last 3-4 years the retailers have opened earlier and earlier each year to get those customers into the stores. I mean this year the earliest start time that I can think for a retailer is JC Penny who is opening most stores at 3 p.m. Actually let me take that back, some stores like Meijer and others are open even earlier in the day.

Does it bum me out slightly that Thanksgiving seems to be getting cut more and more each year? Yes, but at the same time you’re speaking to someone who has worked Thanksgiving Day every year since 2000, so for all those people who are USE to having the holiday off, the same can’t be said for many others. It seems that the American public has no difficulty cutting Turkey Day short in an effort to nab some gnarly deals.

For all those people who say the deals are not that great, they must have not ventured out into the stores on Black Friday, umm Black Thursday; trust me by 2016 I’ll have the terminology down. Many stores offer at least 50-80 percent off most items. I hate to admit this, but one can actually complete all of their Christmas shopping on this one day without breaking the bank. The only thing you have to do is cut family time down a bit, wait in line and bring plenty of patience.

Well, the patience element depends on the retailer that you visit. Plenty of the retailers have gotten a lot better at controlling crowds and ensuring a smooth transition for the big holiday rush that I’d argue 10 years ago was the craziest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I mean a deal is a deal, but I would never run someone over with a cart and snatch an item away from someone’s head or barge into the stores as if all hell is about to break loose.

I think this is more of a trend with those newbies who have never experienced what Black Friday truly is, sorry, it’ll always be that term to me, is all about. It’s not really about the deals I think; it is more about an experience that you never see the rest of the year. Ok, who am I kidding it is about the deals. Getting a 50 inch TV for only $149 buck is a steal compared to 5-6 years ago when the cost was more than $700-$800.

I will admit I would NOT have a problem if the retailers pushed back opening time until the early hours on Friday. I mean for the employees sake, at least. I find it almost impossible to enjoy the holiday if you are forced to work in the middle of the day. I mean most Americans only get 2 guaranteed days off the entire year, for most those days are Thanksgiving and Christmas. The rest of those holidays, rather you work or not is dependent on the industry you work in.

With the holidays quickly upon us, before things get chaotic, we should take a moment, breathe and reflect on the things that are most important, while it’s always fun to get a bargain; at the end of the day nothing is more important than family, family is EVERYTHING!