Will you feast AND shop on Thanksgiving?
On Thursday, I hope to start stringing outdoor Christmas lights, if the weather is at all bearable. Then I'll sit down with my wife, Cheryl, and son, Josh, to watch the Packers play the Lions in Detroit and hope the game doesn't leave me with indigestion. We'll then feast on turkey and stuffing and cranberries and sweet potatoes.
I won't be going shopping. Apparently, many of you will. Target, Toys R Us, J.C. Penney, Staples, Wal-Mart, Sears and Kmart are among big retailers that have backed “Black Friday” sales into Thanksgiving.
Something just doesn't seem right about that. Sure, I can recall Thanksgivings with my wife's extended family back when Cheryl's mom was still alive. Grandma and her four daughters and a bevy of granddaughters would gather around the dining room table after we ate and sift through the shopping inserts. They even wanted me to acquire extra copies of the Wednesday pre-Thanksgiving Gazette with all those shopping circulars so the girls could clip or tear out the specials and plot their strategy for Black Friday shopping. Meanwhile, most of the guys gathered around the TV to watch football. So what if the women would have been able to leave and start their shopping junkets a day early, on the Thanksgiving holiday?
Still, I'd rather keep family together. A manager of a Pizza Hut in Indiana felt the same way. I heard a radio report this week that he got fired for refusing to open his restaurant on Thanksgiving Day, as company powers demanded.
I was listening to host Tim Bremel on WCLO's “Your Talk Show” recently when he suggested it will probably only be a couple more years before big retailers start prying into a day even more sacred by opening for post-holiday sales on Christmas evening. I hope not. Sure, our country was founded on religious freedom, and we're a melting pot of faiths. Sure, a growing number—now about 14 percent—of Americans say they now follow no particular religion. Still, Christianity remains deep in our nation's roots. I would hope that if stores start demanding that their employees report for duty on Christmas evening they're met with empty shopping aisles.