I joked the other day on Facebook that if a space alien was monitoring the various media, it would come to the conclusion that the holiday we Americans are getting ready to celebrate this week is something called Black Friday.

I was wrong.  It’s actually called Black Thursday.

Black Thursday — as Thanksgiving is now being called — is mere hours away and with all the hubbub about working on this national holiday the part that keeps getting lost is that shoppers want to shop.  Thanksgiving or no, the almighty deal will win out. Like it or not.

More shoppers are planning to hit stores on Thursday.  According to Deloitte’s Pre-Thanksgiving survey 23 percent plan to shop in stores on Thanksgiving day – up from 17 percent in last year’s survey.  Shopping Thanksgiving is relatively new phenomenon, but it’s catching on fast.

I used to say that I loved Thanksgiving because it’s one of the purist in spirit of all our national holidays, not subject to the same crass commercialization as, say,  Christmas.  “Black Thursday” doesn’t commercialize T-day directly, but actually does something worse by supplanting it.

How appalling.

I understand there are and always have been people who had to work on Thanksgiving, as certain infrastructure needs to remain open.  We’ll be traveling ourselves on the day, so will patronize at least one gas station and probably a fast food joint, too, to say nothing of the hotel we’ll check into when we get where we’re going.   But this takes consumerism to a much worse level, I think.

I don’t blame the stores, by the way.  If the market’s there, naturally they’re going to respond to it.   But are people really so frantic to get the next “deal” that they can’t wait twenty four hours and take some time to be thankful for what they already have?