All Articles Tagged "thanksgiving"

Black Friday Was A Bust. What About Cyber Monday?

December 2nd, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Black Friday in Naples, FL. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Black Friday in Naples, FL. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Store openings on Thanksgiving day took the bite out of Black Friday, with retailers tallying a 13.2 percent drop in sales compared to 2012. But total sales for the two days were actually up 2.3 percent to $12.3 billion. Over the course of the entire four-day weekend, sales are estimated to come in at $57.4 billion, down 2.9 percent versus last year. Cold temperatures and a storm seemed to keep shoppers home in the Northeast, which tallied the lowest sales. A total of 141 million people went shopping over the holiday weekend.

Experts say that the super early start to the holiday sales along with the option of shopping on turkey day sucked some of the excitement out of Black Friday. Also playing a big role is the continued budget crunch that many average Americans are feeling. The amount that each consumer said they would be spending this weekend was $407.02, down from $423.55.

This is a big deal for retailers who usually look to take in 20 to 40 percent of their annual sales during the holidays; 10 to 15 percent are from this Thanksgiving holiday alone, reports The New York Times.

A bright spot was mobile and online shopping, with an IBM survey of 800 retailers showing that sales on mobile devices were up 40 percent versus last year. Tablet sales made of 14 percent of the total sales on Black Friday, and online sales were up 19.7 percent on Thanksgiving and up 19 percent the following day, says CNN Money.

Which brings us to Cyber Monday. Hopes are high for online sales this year, so much so that retailers like Amazon and Walmart are declaring this Cyber Week. Some of the deals include 40 percent off at H&M and Banana Republic, a 16GB Kindle Fire HD tablet down to $119 from 169 on Amazon, and a Dyson Multifloor Vaccum down to $399 from $549 at Best Buy. Lots of news sites are offering a round up of Cyber Monday, but honestly, if you go to any site or receive daily emails from your favorite retailers, then you probably know what to buy where. Airlines and travel companies are also offering deals today. So if you’re thinking of taking a trip to recover from the holidays, today might be the day to get a deal.

Even with fewer people out and about there was mass craziness at retailers across the country. ICYMI, here’s a taste of what some people were doing while you were chilling out with family and friends. Happy holidays.

Black Friday Violence Breaks Out During Thanksgiving Shopping Day

November 29th, 2013 - By Tonya Garcia
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Black Friday shoppers at a Best Buy in Naples, FL. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Black Friday shoppers at a Best Buy in Naples, FL. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Gunshots, fighting, and thievery broke out last night as over eager shoppers and those looking to take advantage of the Black Friday frenzy caused trouble at retail spots across the country.

From fights in Southern California over people trying to cut the line, to a ghastly slashing in West Virginia over a Wal-Mart parking spot, Black Friday turned grim as news of the incidents poured into news outlets.

Reports were that Black Friday was going to be a bit of a bust this year, with polls and analysts saying that many people were going to save their shopping for another day. But Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart US told the TODAY show that the retailer had a “terrific” night. Still, he acknowledged that customers are “challenged” by things like food stamp cuts and he says the retailer is trying to take that into account. (Watch the clip of Simon speaking to Willie Geist below. He addresses issues of pay and Thanksgiving hours as well.)

Despite this craziness, USA Today says that the Thanksgiving Day opening is keeping the usual Black Friday madness at bay at a lot of retailers. With consumers given more time to get deals, there’s no need for bum rushing store doors or as much pushing and pulling at items in the aisles. Five years ago on Black Friday, a Wal-Mart worker was killed when he was trampled by eager shoppers.

“Overall, the National Retail Federation expects retail sales to be up 4 percent to $602 billion during the last two months of the year. That’s higher than last year’s 3.5 percent growth, but below the 6 percent pace seen before the recession,” the paper says.

Investors are getting a good deal today as well with stocks up on a short trading day. Markets close at 1pm ET.


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Karrueche Tran Spends Thanksgiving In Rehab With A Healthier Looking Chris Brown

November 29th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Chris Brown

While we were all chowing down on turkey, celebrating Thanksgiving with our friends and family, Chris Brown was in rehab starting three months worth of treatment for anger management. But luckily for him, he didn’t have to celebrate the holidays alone. Brown’s girlfriend, Karreuche Tran, made the trip to his rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles to bring him a home-cooked meal and to spend some time with him.

Tran, who was by the singer’s side during his recent court proceedings, posted a picture of the couple together on Instagram and simply captioned it, “happy turkey day” with a heart for her boo.

As quick background, Brown was ordered to enter into in-patient treatment for anger management after he voluntarily went soon after being arrested for assaulting a man outside of the W Hotel in Washington D.C. The first time around, Brown was only in treatment for a couple of weeks before having a disagreement with his mother that reportedly turned violent. His probation report accuses him of  throwing a rock through her car window. The incident caused him to be asked to leave the Malibu facility he was receiving help at. The probation department that deals with Brown actually used that violent episode to prove that he either needed to be ordered to rehab for a longer period of time, or go to jail. Of course, he was given 90 days in a facility in LA.

It’s nice to see that Tran is still standing by Brown. And although the singer definitely has a long way to go, he’s already starting to look better! Don’t you think so? Share your thoughts below.

Serious Question: Should We Boycott Black Friday, Which Is Actually Black Thursday Now?

November 29th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Yesterday, I spent the better half of my day bedridden from a very untimely bout of food poisoning and browsing my favorite websites for Black Friday deals. As I fought long and hard to resist the urge to go YOLO with my credit card, I thought, why would anyone need to actually go to stores on Black Friday — or after Thanksgiving dinner Thursday — when they can find the same deals online without the three-hour checkout lines, disgruntled customers, and annoyed workers? Sure, I know Black Friday is more bout competitiveness and getting one’s adrenaline fix, than actually saving $50 on a TV, but behind all those rolled back prices are hoards of workers who had to cut back their time with their families to appease these junkies and the CEOS getting rich off them. And something about that doesn’t seem right.

As I was browsing the news Wednesday, I came across the story of Tony Rohr, an Elkhart, IN, Pizza Hut manager who was fired after 10 years on the job for refusing to open his store on Thanksgiving. Rohr told WSBT 22:

“I said, ‘Why can’t we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off,?'” . “Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two days that they’re closed in the whole year and they’re the only two days that those people are guaranteed to have off to spend with their families.”

As I read Rohr’s argument, I thought, Why can’t more people stand up to capitalism like that, then I remembered if people weren’t out in the streets hitting up Macy’s at 8pm on Turkey Day there would be no need for Pizza Hut employees and countless other workers to be behind the counters serving them. Ironically, yesterday, when I called to wish my mom a Happy Thanksgiving she told me she was headed to my grandmothers and might stop by a few stores on the way home. But as soon as those words left her lips, she added that she felt bad for the people who were forced to work on Thanksgiving and remarked “I probably shouldn’t go; that’s the sort of thing you should probably boycott, huh?”

Truthfully, I don’t know if my mom ended up joining the masses for Black Thursday shopping or not. And though Pizza Hut has reportedly offered Rohr his job back — most likely because he’s gone to the media with his story and not due to a company change of heart — I can’t help but think about the idea of boycotting and the power of the consumer. I mean, truth be told, at the rate we’re going, Black Friday is getting pushed back so far it’ll soon be Black Wednesday — or Black Week even! But while there are still so many people forced to limit their holiday in favor of the almighty dollar, do you think shoppers should boycott stores on Thanksgiving?

Celebrity Thanksgiving Celebrations: How The Rich And Famous Spent Turkey Day

November 29th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Curious how your favorite famous families spent their holiday? Check out these celebrity thanksgiving celebrations.

Kelly Rowland

Thanksgiving didn’t slow down Kelly Rowland’s grind. She was still on set fulfilling her realty singing competition duties when the “X Factor” posted this photo of the singer on Instagram, writing:

X Factor + Thanksgiving = TurKelly!

My First Thanksgiving With The In-Laws Turned Into A Drunken Fest

November 28th, 2013 - By Ezinne Ukoha
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My younger brother got married last year and even though I wasn’t exactly thrilled to have new family members, I always played my part as his big sister and tried to remain politely diplomatic from a distance. It wasn’t that they were bad people; it was more of a personality thing. Not to sound like a snob, but they were a little rough around the edges and even though I don’t consider myself high-maintenance, I definitely make the effort to stay fashionably current. Maybe it’s because I reside in the fashion capital of the world – you kind of have to step up your game in order to get the right kind of attention.

My brother’s in-laws hail from Atlantic City but he and his wife remained in Maryland and they bought an amazing house, which they absolutely adore. So of course they couldn’t wait to play host for the holidays and they invited the whole family on both sides to indulge them. I had planned on spending the holidays with my boyfriend’s family but I suddenly found myself single and even though I tried to get out of it, I ended up on the Bolt Bus headed for Greenbelt, MD. It was actually Thanksgiving Day, and I arrived later that evening, exhausted, starving and moody. All I wanted to do was dive into bed. I didn’t have the energy to pretend that I was happy to see everyone or pretend that I enjoyed the food. My sister-in-law’s mother is a notoriously bad cook who relies on canned goods and artificial flavoring and I knew that I would not end the day with a good home cooked meal.

As soon as the door flew open, I was readily embraced and everyone seemed to be a having a jolly good time. There was food everywhere; music blasting and there was liqueur. Lots and lots of liqueur, I had no choice but to jump right in and things got even more chaotic. This was my first bonding session with people that I didn’t know very well and I felt that I needed to try to stay sober and behave myself so they at least have a good impression of who I really am. But that plan went out the window once I downed my third vodka and cranberry. I wasn’t sure if this was an indication of the way the in-laws get down for the holidays but I knew why I was drinking so much. I needed an escape from what I thought was going to be a disastrous affair but even in my drunken haze, I could tell that the feelings being expressed were genuine. I felt guilty for being so judgmental in the beginning and not giving them a chance to show me their true colors.

We spent the next day nursing our much-deserved hangovers and I was able to really connect with everybody as we sat around and shared stories and experiences. I found out that both my sister-in-law’s mother and grandmother were breast cancer survivors and they actually instigated my first mammogram exam this past summer. After a nice long weekend, I hopped on the bus back to New York, and as I looked out the window, I felt grateful. I was thankful for the fact that my brother had married the love of his life and inherited a new family. I was also thankful that I was able to share the wealth and I couldn’t wait for another opportunity to get to see them all again.

Thanksgiving, The Vegetarian Way

November 27th, 2013 - By Michelle Alerte
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President Obama pardoning Popcorn. via Twitter

President Obama pardoning Popcorn. via Twitter

Can’t imagine Thanksgiving without the turkey? While dreams of stuffing your face full of turkey, glazed ham, and macaroni and cheese float through your mind, the vegetarians and vegans of the world imagine something more along the lines of pumpkin kale casserole, lentil loaf, or maybe even a vegetable pot pie. And I don’t live a vegan lifestyle by any stretch (and could, at most, check off the “vegetarian’ish” box, if such a category existed) having sampled several vegan dishes I can admit to having stumbled across some that are downright tasty! Check out this list of celebrities you might not have known were vegan, or vegetarian, and marvel at their ability to resist America’s efforts to throw a turkey at everything that moves every Thanksgiving.

Pizza Hut Manager Fired For Allowing Employees Day Off On Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Against his superior’s wishes, general manager Tony Rohr planned to close an Indiana-based Pizza Hut on Thanksgiving Day, believing that the holiday should be reserved for spending time with one’s family. Pizza Hut recently fired Rohr for the big-hearted gesture, The Huffington Post reports.

Opening on Thanksgiving is a company decision, WBST 22 says, quoting Rohr’s boss, the director of operations for several Pizza Hut locations. “Pizza Hut’s choice to be open on Thanksgiving is in line with several other national and local stores and restaurants,” he added. But Rohr felt that he needed to take a stand against the mandatory decree to open on Turkey Day.

“I said, ‘Why can’t we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off?’,” Rohr told WSBT 22.

Rohr, who has been working at the restaurant for 10 years, addressed the matter at a meeting with his superiors. He told his bosses he is refusing to open the restaurant that he manages on Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two days that they’re closed in the whole year and they’re the only two days that those people are guaranteed to have off to spend with their families,” Rohr explains.

As a consequence of confronting the issue, Rohr alleges that he was told to sign a letter of resignation. Instead, he brushed off the request and wrote a letter, of which WBST obtained a copy, to express his disgruntlement with the Pizza Hut franchise:

“I am not quitting. I do not resign however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company… I hope you realize that it’s the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible,” Rohr stated in the letter.

Rohr’s boss, the director of operations, told a different side of the story: He wasn’t fired, he quit his job voluntarily.

As the story went viral, the nation took to Pizza Hut’s Facebook page to express their outrage over Rohr’s resignation. “Your treatment of Tony Rohr and your greedy, uncaring policy that cost him his job have ensured that I will never again order from Pizza Hut or its partners, disgusting,” one commenter said.

Some, however, weren’t too impressed with Rohr’s protests: “I think he should have done his job. If it was the company’s decision to do so, then he should have listened. If he was fired because of that, they are in the right,” another commenter noted.

Which side are you on?

11 Questions We Hope Nobody Asks Us This Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of family, food, and fun, but somewhere between the time guests hit the door and they sit down to feast on dinner, the holiday turns into a time of interrogation. Suddenly, friends and family you don’t see all that often throughout the year are trying to play catch up — unfortunately they tend to do so in the most intrusive way: inappropriate and awkward questions.

We know they don’t mean any harm — most times — but we still hate this part of Turkey day. Here are 11 questions we hope nobody asks us this Thanksgiving.

Dressing And The Thanksgiving Stand-Off

November 27th, 2013 - By Kendra Koger
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I don’t think people fully acknowledge what mess we put our parents through until we have kids of our own.  That’s when it really sets in why your parents took the stances that they did.  As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I find myself experiencing a little trepidation for preparing the meal for my daughter.  I’m just hoping that she won’t be a jerk like her mother and aunt were.

Growing up, my sisters are I were extremely picky eaters.  To appease us, sometimes our mother would cook three separate meals for us, while she was also pregnant.  I think she just wanted us to shut up and get out of her face, and I understand that now.  But it bothered our father.  He thought that my mother should just cook one meal and we would have to just choke it down if we didn’t like it.  Well, our father would try to get his way one Thanksgiving.

When my mother started loading our plates, both my sister Kelli and myself declined on the dressing.  I cannot explain how much we both hate dressing.   Even to this day, just the smell of it causes me to dry heave.  I can’t eat at the same end of the table with it, just… ugh… despise the stuff.

My father apparently got sick of us being picky and decided to put his foot down.  “No!  Your mother made all this food for you!  I’m tired of you two always complaining.  You’re gonna eat this dressing!”

And so it began…

He plopped two big helpings on our plates and watched us intently as we ate around it.  When we tried to get away from the table, he stopped us.  “Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah.  Where do you think you’re going?  I still see dressing on your plates!  Sit back down!”

Everyone else ate sweet, delicious sweet potato pie and ice cream, while Kelli and I sat there, glaring at them.  Well, Kelli did more glaring, I think I was just crying.

My father began to break down the ingredients to us, and was like:  “It’s basically just cornbread and celery!  You like that, don’t you?”

Kelli began to counter:  “Well, bring me a piece of cornbread, and some celery separately.  I’ll eat that, but I’m not eating dressing.”

So we sat… for hours.  My mother began to plead with our father to let us go, and our sister Amber played our video game in the background.  Our father refused to let up, he was going to make a point, and so were we.

I decided to lay my head on the table, and eventually nodded off.  I woke up to it being around 11 o’clock PM.  My father was still sitting in his chair, head back, mouth wide open, snoring, and Kelli was sneaking off eating a piece of pie.  Our mother made us all go to bed, but our father promised us that we would be having dressing for breakfast.

Terrified of our morning meal, we dredged to the table, and didn’t see dressing in sight.  We learned to not be as picky, and our father learned that his children were more strong-willed that he realized.  As Kelli and I left the nest, started our own families, the one common thing that we exclude from our Thanksgiving meals, to this day, is dressing.  However, I’m worried if my daughter is going to have the same repulsion to what I plan to cook this Thanksgiving.  Let’s hope not.