Posted at: 11/23/2012 6:11 PM
By: Dan Bazile
ALBANY -- For Bryon and Kathleen Beckneson of Albany, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. But they say now this holiday seems to be taking on a different meaning, more like a time to be thankful for great deals.
"I think it used to be more about giving thanks instead of buying more stuff," said Kathleen Beckenson.
The couple is avoiding the malls and shopping centers on purpose. They chose instead to visit a museum in downtown Albany.
"We always remember the Black Friday shopping when I was growing up," Bryon Beckenson said. "But we got to the point now where it's not just five am the next morning. It's midnight, ten at night on Thanksgiving."
"You wonder how far they can back it up before they cannibalize their own sales," said Kathleen Beckenson. "Where do they get to the point where it's so saturated and there are no big specials anymore."
The Beckensons were not the only ones who refused to shop on this Black Friday. The ice skating rink at the Empire State plaza in Albany was filled with families who said shopping will probably come later.
"Too early, way too early. There are too many other things to enjoy," said Karen Gerety who was skating with her family.
They say more and more the early "shop until you drop" frenzy around this time of year, essentially for Christmas gifts, is taking away from the true meaning of the season.
"I've said this the last couple of years. Where is the message of Christmas," said Pastor Charlie Muller from Victory Christian Church in Albany.
Muller said it's a religious holiday, a time of giving and a joyous occasion to spend time with family and friends. But he said the season is already way too commercialized.
"I think a lot of people are wanting to go back to a simpler time of the year," he said.