I love stuff.
Whether or not the rest of you are willing to admit it, the fact is you love stuff, too. Cars, gadgets, apparel, food — you name it; we want it. There’s a reason the holidays are so popular. It’s because we all get to purchase and consume stuff.
Despite our need to buy crap, give it to our family, and then eat too much, we still need to realize that, besides all the hoopla surrounding material items, holidays serve another purpose, too.
I’m not necessarily a huge fan of Thanksgiving; I could buy a turkey and eat it whenever I want (and I do). But it is a nice day to spend with my family because we know none of us will have to go to work that day.
Those days I can spend with family and friends all together in the same room on the same day are worthy of a five out of five star rating. But because those days are so important and so few, I’m giving them 10 stars just to drive the point home.
Well, America won’t let a little thing like family stop them from forcing thousands of retail workers into the stores on Thanksgiving this year. Because, you know, family is only important when it’s yours.
According to the Nov. 12 USA Today article “Opening hours at 8 top retailers on Thanksgiving,” by Paul Ausick, the largest stores will all be opening their doors for Black Friday one day early. You know, to pass on the savings.
It’s simply unfeasible to assume retailers like Wal-Mart and Target could let their minimum wage-earning employees have the holiday off to be with their families. What would the stores do? Hold off all the savings until the day after Thanksgiving?
Oh, you silly retail employees get a review of five out five holidays working for even thinking you’re important enough to be with your families. (Please note: the previous sentence was dripping with sarcasm.)
To be fair, the majority of the retailers on the list are beginning the madness at around 8 p.m. Thanksgiving day. Some people would say that’s kind because it at least gives employees a chance to dig into some turkey before zipping up their khakis and pulling on their blue or red shirts. (The exception is K-Mart, which will open bright and early at 6 a.m.)
However, I’ve been a retail worker. I worked retail until just a couple of years ago. And it doesn’t matter if a store is open for a mere several hours on Thanksgiving or Christmas. If anything, it makes the work more intense for employees who deserve to spend some time with their family members.
Shoppers who think they’re important enough to make other people work for them on a holiday don’t care about treating those people with kindness. I’ve been on the receiving end of a bargain shopper’s holiday fury; it ain’t jolly, and it ain’t pretty.
My plea is that we’ll all take one day and utilize the holidays for their intended purpose (after paying homage to pagan gods, of course): being with the people we love.
And maybe in the process, we can send a message to retailers that we want other people to have that same luxury. Give yourself five stars and high-five yourself for staying home on Thanksgiving. If you choose to shop on Thanksgiving, you can still give yourself a high-five, though. Just please, make sure you high-five your face.
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