This is just my opinion, which is worthless to anyone but me but over the last few years it seems that " shopping " has been taken to a new level and not necessarily to a higher level.
I've noticed stores opening earlier and earlier, staying open later and later and soon, it won''t be long until they're open on Thanksgiving and Christmas days as well. But, you can't lay all the blame on the stores--if they opened at midnight and no one showed up, they wouldn't be so keen to keep doing it . But, if they open at midnight and there's a crowd of people who are so anxious to spend money that they have been camping out and come rushing in, trampling, shoving, etc with their plastic money in their hands, then the stores can't bear all the blame.
Here in my hometown last year at a well known electronics store, they advertised so many items of this and that, etc. at supposedly low prices-- Some people camped out for as long as 2 days to " save " money--ordering and having food, drinks, etc delivered to their spot in the line.It finally came down to the police having to maintain a presence to keep down the numerous fistfights that broke out during those days. Fortunately no one used a gun or knife, just their fists. If you consider that most had to buy tents, sleeping bags, order pizza, etc, in all honesty, how much did they save and was a few dollars worth it?
A couple of years ago we had a shooting where one killed another over a parking place--that's the real holiday spirit!!
My wife has worked retail for 35 years and we have never had a normal holiday season--not complaining--just stating a fact. So, please do remember the employees that are working their long hours--they have families, their feet and legs hurt, they too would like to be home resting or even out shopping themselves.
As far as I'm concerned, it's been years since I have been out to the Mall in November or December and I stay away from these big box stores--I'll go to Kroger to get food but that's it. I use gift cards for my presents and have made it clear to all involved that if at anytime anyone is dissatisfied with the gift card, to please feel free to return it immediately. So far, I've had no takers on my return policy.
Here's hoping that all who venture out to brave the crowds return safely carrying whatever it was that you braved the crowds for and that you got it at a huge discount.
Please try to remember too, that we have service people in harms way in different areas of the world, risking life and limb, engaged in life and death struggles while we ,as a people, are out doing our shopping and saving!
Hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday.