Monday, November 25, 2013

Gratitude over Greed

   I went to a chain department store recently and saw this notice:

Massachuesetts Law requires that we close on Thanksgiving Day.
Therefore, we will open at 1:00AM on Nov. 29. Neighboring
stores (excluding Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
will be open at 8 PM on the 28th.

I have also been seeing posts on Facebook from people stating that they will not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day. I copied one of those posts.

Thanksgiving is the one major holiday that we can all really share. Whatever our religion* we can all give thanks -- and even atheists can give thanks to family and friends. People from other countries who are working, studying or visiting can gather for Thanksgiving and participate freely with the full meaning. Alternate diets can be got around so everyone can be part of things. Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day for family to enjoy a meal, a football game, a long discussion, a time of serving the poor  or whatever their particular tradition, together. I hate to see retail work get in the way of that.

I know that some people will always have to work on Thanksgiving. I also know that many “critical” workplaces try to arrange shifts so that everyone can be home at either noon or in the early evening. I know of families who accommodate difficult work schedules for members who work in hospitals, public safety institutions, etc.

I am grateful to those who work in restaurants so that some families –like mine this year—can have their dinner out. I am hopeful that they work their shifts so everyone can be at home part of the day.

I am very glad to live in a state that requires stores to close on Thanksgiving.

I would like to call for people to respect Thanksgiving. To give us at least this one day when we can have a common day off to spend time with our families and loved ones, to worship if we will, to rest and to be grateful.

I would ask people not to shop before 9:00 AM on “Black Friday.” 1:00 AM openings mean that people have to sleep through the late afternoon and evening.

I would ask store owners and managers to keep their stores closed until 9:00 AM on black Friday.

I would encourage retail employees to organize and ask for the day off. It has to be a large group effort to protect people’s jobs.

Let's put gratitude ahead of getting a bargain or making a buck. Let's have a holiday together. Keep the stores closed.

Your thoughts?

*Except Jehovah's witnesses, who only celebrate one holiday and not this one. 

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