By Aimee Comanici and Aryana Nazem
What do the students and staff at Jamesville-DeWitt High School think about Black Friday shopping and the festivities of Thanksgiving? Of the delicious feasts of food and the super deals? Thanksgiving is on Thursday, Nov. 27 and, continuing the trend they started last year, Black Friday shopping starts even earlier on Thanksgiving night in big chain stores like Macy’s, Kohl's, Walmart, Target etc. However most of J-DHS doesn’t agree with this marketing stunt and feels as though it takes away from the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
From family and friends, to pets and good health, J-DHS students and staff have a lot to be thankful for this year. “I’m always thankful for my health. I like what I do, even though I am semi-retired, I substitute teach and I love it,” said Coach Walter Dodge. “I’m thankful for my friends, family, and food because some people don’t have that,” said sophomore Alex Epifani. “I wouldn't know what to do without my camp friends and my family,” said sophomore Sadye Bobette. Similarly, junior Jack Radford is very thankful to have his family and friends in his life to constantly support him.
Students and staff are really looking forward to the bountiful foods and feasts during Thanksgiving. Of the dozens of students and staff interviewed, stuffing and mashed potatoes were the Thanksgiving favorites. The students and staff shared their Thanksgiving traditions and they all involved being together with their families, making the food and family linked during this time. “My sister and I always break the wishbone from the turkey,” said Alexandra Catanzarite. Freshman Alex Payne has many family traditions; for example, each person at the table says what they are thankful for, and they play team games that change each year. In the past year the Payne family played charades and kickball. Junior Chloe Hayward is trying to make a new tradition this year by trying turkey for the first time ever, because she’s been a vegetarian for the past few years. Epifani said she always goes to her grandma’s house, and because they’re a big Italian family and pasta is always served.
Many students are traveling for the holiday to visit family or for vacation. “I always go to my Grandmas house in Indiana to spend Thanksgiving with my dads side of the family,” said senior Brooke LaFair. Junior Anna Pluff and her family are going to Saratoga Springs to visit her fathers’ family.
The early openings of the big box stores are disrupting the family and food traditions. Students that plan on going Black Friday shopping may have to miss their family dinner and traditions. Target, Walmart, Macy’s, and Sears are all planning on opening their doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, while JCPenney and Best Buy are opening their doors at 5 p.m. J-DHS students have conflicting views about the jumpstart on the store openings.
Junior Hannah Gunther thinks that store openings at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. “kinda sucks for the people that have to work.” Bobbette said, “it’s ridiculous. I think on Thanksgiving you’re supposed to be thankful for your family and supposed to be spending time with your family.” Catanzarite doesn't like the stores opening early because she believes it takes away from the true meaning of Thanksgiving which is being with family.
However other students don't feel the same way. “I think it’s a great idea so people aren’t rushing all over and getting hurt,” said Radford. “I guess [the stores] will sell more stuff this way, so it’s good for them,” said Sophomore Ben Picone. Ryan Middleton had a similar view to Picone’s when he said that he thought that it is okay for the stores to open earlier then previous because they are just trying to make a profit.
Instead of going Black Friday shopping students have other plans. “On that Friday we always have down time with my family and just hang out,” said Hayward. Junior Ajay Manohar plans to sleep instead of shopping this year. “It’s just a normal day for me,” said Lafair about Black Friday when she decides not to go.
No matter how the students feel about Black Friday, everyone is happy that there is a break from school. J-DHS leaves school on Nov. 25 and returns on Dec. 1.