Thanksgiving is here and that means it’s a time to reflect on all the aspects of our lives that we’re thankful for. It’s a time to spend with family and friends free from distractions. There’s turkey on the table, football on TV, and houses full of fellowship.

I can remember my family traveling far and wide to spend quality time together with relatives. We gather together and spend the Thanksgiving holiday listening and enjoying the company of the ones we love, all because we’re a family and that’s what we do.

I can very clearly remember multiple generations of my family all sitting around a table; generally two tables, one for the kids of course. Everyone patiently watched my father carve the turkey as my grandfather stood by offering his expert advice.

I’m sure many of you take part in the tradition of going around the table and having each person say what he or she is thankful for. It’s really easy to lay the old “Family and Friends” card when it’s your turn to speak at the table, but this year I’m challenging everyone who happens to be reading this to dig a little deeper. Try and understand the importance of this Thanksgiving holiday. Unplug (this one will be hard for me), don’t worry about the shopping, and spend a couple extra hours with the relatives that sometimes drive you nuts.  I hope that one day you can look back at the collection of past Thanksgivings and smile at the memories you made with the most important people in your life. Maybe even carve out your own “new” family tradition and create some new memories.

Keeping the Holiday Meaningful

Because the holiday shopping season gets earlier and earlier each year, sometimes I think Thanksgiving gets lost in all the chaos. There’s no shame in admitting that certain holiday traditions have changed, in fact, it’s inevitable. With today’s technology and push for sales, it’s not uncommon for families to sit down for a nice Thanksgiving dinner and then immediately drive off to do their holiday shopping.

This year, businesses will be opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. And although I understand the financial implications that the decision to stay open on Thanksgiving is based on, it’s my fear that people will lose the thankful reflection that we need on Thanksgiving.

And apparently I’m not alone in my thinking. In a recent FORTUNE article, they explain REI, an outdoor apparel and accessory supplier, has announced that they will be closing their doors both on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Employees of REI received an email that read: “Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most – be outside.”

While REI’s movement to close on Black Friday might not be as widely accepted, other companies have moved to remain closed on Thanksgiving as well. Staples, Gamestop, Costco, Home Depot, and Barns & Noble are all waiting until Black Friday to open their stores.

Beating the Rush

As an advertiser, I don’t want people to think that I’m advocating to cease all marketing efforts for the sake of the season, that would just be a poor business decision. However, today’s online advertising technologies give your business every opportunity to spread the word about your holiday sales before the chaos begins. By developing a strong holiday advertising strategy, customers will beat the crowds by doing a little pre-searching before heading to the mall.

Online advertising levels the playing field for all different sizes of retailers. Now, a local store in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has the ability to be competitive with larger big box brands like never before. Technology is putting consumer goods and Black Friday deals a click or a swipe away.

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving

Take a moment and be thankful this holiday season. In between your helping of turkey and pumpkin pie, take a second to look around the table and be thankful for all the family that has gathered together to celebrate.

From everyone here at KeyMedia Solutions, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!