I don’t understand.  Thanksgiving used to be a day to be with family, friends, or just to rest from a hectic work week.  A day to stop for a while and purposely think of the blessings God has given.

             I went grocery shopping at our local Shop Rite the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.  I enjoy grocery shopping, but I can’t really tell you why.  It was just after seven Saturday morning and only a few brave morning people like me had ventured into the maze of abundant holiday specialty foods.  I didn’t need to stand in line at the deli for twenty minutes since there was no line.  I didn’t have to wait patiently for someone to decide which brand of cereal they wanted while they stood in the middle of the aisle.  Even the music was upbeat – a great selection of Oldies. (I LOVE the Oldies!)  I found myself humming or singing quietly, feeling somewhat silly for doing so.  But only until I passed four other people doing the same thing.  Then it didn’t matter!  In a relaxed and happy mood, I approached the cashier.  Again, no line, no waiting, just a pleasant young woman with a pleasant smile.  After loading my items onto the conveyer belt, I tapped my foot to the peppy tune floating over the intercom.  Behind me, the manager was discussing the work schedule for the next week. 

            Suddenly my mood pivoted.  It was like a scene from a movie where the music stops suddenly as the needle scraps raucously across the record.  (I apologize to those of you who have no idea what a record is.  Ask someone older than you.)  I couldn’t help asking her, “Did I hear you say you’re open Thanksgiving Day?”  I was certain I hadn’t heard correctly.  She just smiled and nodded.  “Well, this is one customer who would like to protest on your behalf!  Who do I see to log a complaint?”  She just laughed, but I was completely serious.

            All the way home, I fumed.  By the time I parked the van, I couldn’t decide what angered me more – the audacity of the store to open and force employees to work, or the stupid, idiotic people who would go shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

            Has America really become that greedy?  Do people really need to shop 365 days a year?  Is there really a need to have stores open on days they should be closed?  Who has more greed – the corporations or the customers?  Now before you give me that one exception story, I already understand the idea of exceptions.  But let’s face it.  We can plan ahead and not go shopping for one day.  My family has had more Thanksgivings and Christmas’s where something was forgotten and we lived without it.  Inevitably because my father worked construction most of my life, he was paid just days before Christmas.  My parents were forced to shop almost every Christmas Eve until the last store closed.  But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever they couldn’t finish remained unfinished.  Even if stores had been opened, they would not have gone.  That’s character. 

            So I put this to you, America.  Can you not go shopping just a few days a year?  Will you consciously boycott stores open on Thanksgiving and Christmas? 

12/03/2009 2:58pm

you are certainly right to rant. i can't believe the stores open on Thanksgiving Day - Wal-Mart, K Mart, local grocery stores. it is ridiculous to expect their employees to come in and miss the time with family & friends. i know when my sister-in-law worked at Wal-Mart, everyone had to work on Thanksgiving Day. She'd always miss part of the day. There should be a reverence to these days - not a 'quick, come spend more money here!' attitude.
Thanks for the chance to grumble!


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