Don’t look now, but the holiday season is upon us, and we’re starting off in style with battles about boozy Santas and stores launching their Black Friday sales on Thursday.
While retailers once opened at dawn on Friday or midnight after Thanksgiving, giving shoppers in the holiday spirit extra time to claw and trample each other to get to that bargain 60-inch TV, many are now starting even earlier. For example, Best Buy will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and Macy’s at 6 p.m. Will we now have to call Thanksgiving “Black Thursday”? Very confusing.
While some protest that this doesn’t allow employees to spend time with family, retailers say working on Thanksgiving is usually voluntary, and can pay time-and-a-half. Macy’s spokeswoman Holly Thomas (great holiday name, BTW) says many of its employees “appreciate the opportunity to work on Thanksgiving so they have time off on Black Friday.”
But getting an early start on ninja shopping is only the beginning of the holiday fun. On Dec. 13, the annual slobfest known as SantaCon will come to NYC bars, possibly near you.
Last year, the merry bar crawl centered in the East Village. This year, organizers targeted Bushwick until local barkeepers and politicians told them to get lost.
They still seek a lucky NYC neighborhood to host the festivities. Hey, how about yours? On the plus side, they donate to local food banks and other charities. On the minus side, they puke all over your stoop.
While organizers deny this happens often, the drinking starts at 10 a.m., according to the SantaCon website, which also claims, “Santa spreads joy, not vomit.” What a lovely Hallmark sentiment.
But hey, maybe we have these extra jolly Santas all wrong. According to their site, “SantaCon is a charitable, non-commercial, nonpolitical, nonsensical convention that happens once a year for absolutely no reason.” The site also treats you to such popular Christmas tunes as “Jingle Bells” by the Gay Robots and “Ol’ Taninz Da Bomb!” by DJ Blitz’N.
So as we celebrate our new holiday traditions of stampeding, post-turkey shoppers and drunken, marauding Santas, what’s left to say except: Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.