New Survey By The Secret Society of Happy People Proves Shopping Doesn't Equal A Happy Thanksgiving

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While retailers scramble to open doors before Black Friday, a recent survey by The Secret Society of Happy People found that a majority would rather not shop on Thanksgiving. The survey's purpose was to identify what makes people happy on Thanksgiving.

Will You Shop Black Friday Sales

Will You Shop Black Friday Sales?

Our survey shows that happiness is more about spending time with people than stuff.

The findings of a new survey conducted by The Secret Society of Happy People provide a stark contrast to recent media stories about holiday shopping on Thanksgiving. While many national retailers including Macy's, Target and Apple have announced that they will open for holiday shopping on Thanksgiving, 56.5 percent of respondents to the survey indicated that shopping would not be on their itinerary for the holiday.

"I was shocked that only 8.7 percent of the respondents considered Black Friday shopping something that makes them happy about Thanksgiving. It was in the bottom four choices," says Pamela Gail Johnson, Founder of The Secret Society of Happy People. When asked "Will you shop for Black Friday sales?" 56 percent of the 230 people who answered the question chose the response: "No, you couldn't pay me to shop."

Participants were asked several questions about what makes them feel the happiest during the Thanksgiving holiday and were given multiple choices along with a field for unique responses. Some highlights of the survey include:

Question: What makes you happy about Thanksgiving?

  •     Spending time with loved ones was the overwhelming response with 88 percent saying "spending time with family" made them happy and 46 percent also designating "spending time with friends."
  •     Food came in second to spending time with family with 72 percent, while 48 percent also favored cooking.
  •     Time off work was also a favorite of 91 respondents (39 percent).
  •     The least favorite responses that tied for last place were going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving and ordering a pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

Question: Will you go to a movie on Thanksgiving?

  •     Of the 229 people that responded to this question, only 4.8 percent said that they would go to see a movie.
  •     Over 69 percent responded with a definitive "no."
  •     Ten percent indicated that they would see a movie over the holiday weekend, but not on Thanksgiving, while 15 percent were undecided.

Question: What's your favorite Thanksgiving food?

  •     Dressing or stuffing was favored by over 18 percent of respondents.
  •     Turkey was second at close to 13 percent.
  •     Over 31 percent didn't single out one food, but responded "all of the above and more."

"I think that what this survey illustrates is that Thanksgiving is really a holiday that happy people are grateful to have the time to spend with the people they love and may not see other than at Thanksgiving. Cooking at home was also a top pick because of the joy it gives people to spend all day together, visiting, and eating, rather than sitting in a movie theater where they can't visit," says Johnson.

Seventy percent of survey respondents planned on staying home for the holidays rather than traveling. "I think since it is the first holiday of the season, people yearn to minimize chaos. Perhaps it's the calm before the chaos of Christmas shopping, events and travel," says Johnson.

The Secret Society of Happy People offers free membership to anyone interested in learning how to improve their happiness quotient. The free membership includes a downloadable 31 Types of Happiness Poster, a monthly Happiness Happens newsletter and an optional Daily Happiness Inspiration email. To promote happiness during the holidays and minimize chaos, a free eWorkbook 5 Ways to Simplify Your Holidays is also available.

About The Secret Society of Happy People:

Pamela Gail Johnson founded the Secret Society of Happy People in 1998 to encourage the expression of happiness and discourage parade-raining. The Society has thousands of members from more than 34 countries. Ms. Johnson is a public speaker for organizations and companies around the country who want to promote happiness among their members or employees. The society also offers videos, books and daily inspirations to promote happiness.

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