A few years ago, Doug Matthews, an insurance executive from New Jersey, posted a rant on Allrecipes.com about how holiday shopping had overtaken Thanksgiving. “Respect the Bird!” was his refrain, and he seemed to strike a chord — generating more comments and pageviews than anything the recipe-sharing site had seen before, inspiring the launch of a “Respect the Bird” campaign.
For a while, it seemed to work. Thousands of people signed a “Take Back Thanksgiving” pledge. Matthews was interviewed on radio shows and appeared on the front page of The Washington Post. He thought he might be in the vanguard of an anti-Black Friday movement.