Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I love Thanksgiving.  I love the time with my family, the good food, the warmth of an easy chair as I drift into a satisfying tryptophanic coma.

Yet a quiet day of family and giving thanks has been jarred by the retailers who want to push Black Friday into Thanksgiving Thursday.  So between advertisements announcing fantastic "doorbuster" specials and the voices of Christians and conservatives decrying this "war against families," my peaceful holiday is shaping up to be not so relaxing.

So where do I stand on this?  I'm glad you asked.

I will NOT be shopping on Thanksgiving Day.  I will NOT recommend or encourage anyone to shop on Thanksgiving Day. My heart goes out to the employees who have to work on Thanksgiving Day.

However, I do feel compelled to point out a somewhat obvious truth:

No one is forcing anyone to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

For all the rhetoric about how retailers are destroying family values, the fact is, taking advantage of a sale is totally voluntary.  A family makes a CHOICE to abandon the dirty dishes and push, shove, and squirm their way through a crowd of determined bargain hunters. Messy? Yes.  Not very family friendly? Sure.  Mandatory? No.

You see, while I agree in spirit with the outcry against retailers opening up on Thanksgiving, I have a problem with what the outcry says about our values as a family.  If our family values are 1) only manifested one day out the year and 2) easily disrupted by a "doorbuster" ad, then we've got a bigger problem then retailers hoping to turn a profit.  Maybe it's time to re-examine just what "family values" and "giving thanks" mean in our own lives.

Retailers are driven by profit.  So stopping the "Thanksgiving shopping" movement is simple (in theory anyway): if enough people feel strongly about the family Thanksgiving that they will stay home, then it will cease being worth the retailer's time and expense of being open.

Yeah, I know it's a simple solution to a big problem.  But I've got to start somewhere.

Meanwhile, while folks scoop up the last of the gravy, get on their coats, and head out to find some bargains, I'm going to seek out that one comfortable chair and "rest my eyes for just a couple of minutes," while my daughters make fun of me as I start to snore.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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