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Student voices: Are you ok with Black Thursday?

The million dollar question of the season has been brought up multiple times this month: have Black Friday's new shopping hours ruined Thanksgiving Day?

Last week some stores were opening as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Some say that shopping should be left for Friday and that Thanksgiving should be left alone because it is a holiday. Others say shop while the shopping's good and could care less if they start a few hours earlier.

Should department stores wait until Friday to open their doors to anxious shoppers or should they be able to have the freedom of deciding when to open?

I have been going Black Friday shopping since I was about 12 years old. After the first time I went, I couldn't wait for the next year and every year after that. I had so much fun watching people scramble around the store finding good deals and toys for their kids. People would be running through the stores, grabbing as many things as they could.

But this year it was different. We went out at our usual time because my Mom didn't want to go all night shopping. We got to Target first and there were just a few cars in the parking lot when past years we couldn't even find a spot. We walked in and there were probably three times as many workers as shoppers. It was nice, but you could tell the merchandise had been picked through. All the other places we went weren't busy until we got to the mall.

As much as I liked an empty store, I still believe that people should be able to enjoy their Thanksgiving Day with their family and go shopping the next morning. I know some of my relatives left Thanksgiving early so they could go shopping, which is valuable family time given up.

My greatest memory of holiday shopping was when I brought my dad to the Mall of America to pick out my mom's gifts last year. That was a bad idea, let me tell you. He hates crowds and shopping so the mall was not a good choice. After just an hour we got everything so I told him I would treat him to ice cream for agreeing to come with. Just my luck, the closest place was by the rotunda, and of course there had to be a boy band there along with hundreds of screaming girls. Oops.

It is the holiday season and being thankful for your family and health is important, but it is a personal choice how you spend your holidays. Many people have been commenting on how contradictory Thanksgiving and Black Friday are. Thursday we are giving thanks for the blessings in our life and Friday we are trampling over each other for items on sale.

Only in America, I guess.

Kassie Klasen is a student at Rosemount High School. Her column appears every other week.