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Open All The Stores On Thanksgiving!!

November 19, 2014
Thanksgiving turkey

I love Thanksgiving. Let me just get that out there first. I love Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect holiday. No gifts, great food and wine, family and friends if you’re lucky (and sometimes if you’re not) and of course pie. It’s just like 4th of July but without the mosquito bites, sunburns and fireworks. I love Thanksgiving, I really do. So don’t hate me for saying what a lot of people (and big bad corporations) are thinking – Open all the Stores on Thanksgiving.

If you’ve been around the internet of late you’ve noticed a growing murmur of people trying to ban shopping on Thanksgiving, they even made this badge that you can post on your blog or share on Twitter or Facebook.

NO-shopping-on-thanksgiving

It’s a great idea and who doesn’t want a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving? How could stores like Best Buy, Sears or Walmart ruin this image of family joy and togetherness? The thing is not everyone has a Rockwellian family. Some people don’t celebrate with family for all kinds of reasons. The rest of us just drink through the holiday, which can make it most enjoyable.

Forever people have had to work on holidays. It’s a drag if you have to but someone has to sell the gas, cigarettes and lottery tickets and someone has to man the emergency rooms across the country. That’s how it’s always been until maybe ten years ago when they started offering deep discounts on cheap TV and crappy laptops.

The birth of Black Friday ushered in all kinds of craziness. People got up at the crack of dawn, or worse, never went to sleep on Thanksgiving, so they could fight crowds of people looking for a deal.

I’ve never been to a store on Black Friday. Usually on Black Friday I’m sipping coffee, watching Love Actually or It’s A Wonderful Life and getting ready to run another load of dishes through the dishwasher leftover from the night before. I may or may not be nibbling on some leftover turkey.

Before Black Friday became a thing there was the day BEFORE Thanksgiving. This was the big day for shopping. Grocery stores, hardware store and stores that sell things like linens, flowers, and anything to make the house look nice got a rush of business from those of us who waited until the last minute. You’d have to fight for the last bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing and you’d be lucky if you got a can of jellied cranberry sauce.

Ocean Spray Cranberry SauceSome people refuse to eat the Jello-like, can-shaped mass of cranberries because it looks so fake. Not in my house, this is the preferred kind of cranberry sauce because it makes such a satisfying slllluurrrrrpp when it is finally released from the can and falls onto the plate. In recent years the Ocean Spray company has taken it upon themselves to change the design of the can. Now you have to open the can from the bottom because the top is really the bottom and is curved in such a way that it can’t be opened with a can opener. I don’t know who was asleep at the wheel when this engineering feat was implemented but it was a stupid idea. You can’t get the jellied cranberry sauce out of the can without venting the can. With the new design you have to stick a knife in it and it ruins the beautiful ridges created by the can making the sauce almost too mutilated to put on the table. It’s not even suitable for the cry table at this point.

But I digress.

The problem with Thanksgiving before Black Friday is that if you forgot something like butter or whipped cream you couldn’t just run to the grocery store to pick up some more. You had to go to 7-11 and get hosed for a pound of butter. And, if you were low on booze and aunt Helen was coming for dinner you were simply out of luck. You’d have to let her at the good stuff.

So I’m all for opening the stores on Thanksgiving but earlier, like the whole day. In fact, open the stores on Thanksgiving morning, all of the stores, and let people get their shopping jones on. Get it out of their system at the same time all the people planning on hosting a not so Rockwellian Thanksgiving can make one last trip for butter, eggs and some nog for aunt Helen. After they’ve gotten their TV, crappy laptop or the current years Cabbage Patch Kid they can sit down and eat turkey with all their friends and family.

We still live in America, a place where Freedom rings and Liberty sings, right? I know, having the stores open on Thanksgiving means people who work in those stores can’t be with their families. That’s not true, they can reschedule their holiday like all divorced couples have been doing for decades. Life isn’t fair, there are always people who have to work on holidays. If they really didn’t want to work on Thanksgiving they could look for a job that wasn’t in the service industry.  I’m sick of political correctness dictating everything we do in this country.

Why is this even being debated and boycotted? If you want to spend your Thanksgiving shopping then by all means have at it. You’re putting more money into the economy and probably more than you can afford – if that isn’t he American way I don’t know what is. If you don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving spend it with your family or on the couch binge watching episodes of Game of Thrones, that’s a nice family show, right?

Spend your Thanksgiving anyway you want. That’s the great thing about the holiday, it’s about being thankful, it doesn’t matter what you’re thankful for, just as long as you are. And if you aren’t thankful for being lucky enough to live in a country where you can afford to blow off your family so you can spend money you don’t really have on crap you don’t need I don’t what there is to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Stores that are open on Thanksgiving:

Walmart

Kmart

Sears

Macy’s

JC Penney

Target

Best Buy

Kohl’s

Toys R Us

Sports Authority

Staples (You know, in case you just have to get some paper clips or a three ring punch)

Stores that will be closed on Thanksgiving:

Ace Hardware

Barnes & Noble

Patagonia

Dillard’s

Crate and Barrel

Neiman Marcus

GameStop

Nordstrom

Bed Bath & Beyond

Burlington Coat Factory

REI

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  • Tim Austin

    Completely agree. I will be home with my reduced family in Texas as my oldest is in the military in Virginia, the parents are retired military and living the “snow Bird” life style in Tucson Az, and my sister and brother in law are laid up due to his 3rd open heart surgery this year My wife’s parents have both passed on and she is an only….. but with all of that said, we are Thankful for our family, health, freedoms, rights, my new truck, new job, and pre-thankful that the Cowboys loose!
    With all of that, if you are one who chooses to complain about who is open and who is not, then you have clearly lost the spirit of the holiday itself. President Lincoln made it a federal holiday and minus the greed and lack of morals from major corporations…. it still is a federal Holiday. I can go to the major chain grocery store and get anything I need, the liquor stores will be open and do the Black Friday shopping…….I will not be doing this.
    I have family that I need to call, Skype, Face time, and to sit in the living room and watching football, parades, and re-runs of everything! We will play the white elephant dice game, we will play board games, cards, drink wine, eat, and repeat! Oh, and some random naps on the lazy boy! The dogs will be entertained as well, cant forget them.
    Make the day what you want, just be thankful for something new as well as the old standbys.

  • mechgogo

    I am SO SICK of the two big trite buzzlines parroted to death by the pro-open-on-Thanksgiving crowd “Celebrate on another day” and “If you don’t like it find a job in a different field” . Ok, first one first ; celebrating on a different day kinda defeats the whole POINT of it being a holiday. At that point it’s not a special day with those you love. It’s another random day of the year. And good luck getting everyone together. The point of the day is to spend it with your loved ones, not catering to the selfish, entitled whims of some stranger unable to wait a lousy DAY for whatever useless piece of shite they just HAVE to throw their hard-earned away on. While we’re at it why not celebrate Christmas in August or wish you a happy birthday eight weeks early? Not like it’s that big a deal, right?

    Second “Get a different job.” ummmm Jen have you SEEN the state of the current economy? In the first place not a lotta jobs to be found out there. And WHY? Because we the sheeple allowed the oligarchs to send all the decent blue collar jobs overseas. Second, not everyone has the aptitude or temperament to work in another field. Can you HONESTLY see me working in a call center or doing computer programing? But because I have the audacity to want to spend a family holiday with MY FAMILY I should leave a field that you personally said I excell at in this very blog?

    Finally, this isn’t about political correctness. This is about showing a little basic GODSDAMNED human consideration for people in customer service. We work our asses off day in day out. We put up with erratic schedules, abusive, obnoxious customers -you know I’ve been fucking SPIT AT in my time in the industry?- , bosses who think that having a marginally nicer plastic nametag exempts them from doing their share of the work or treating their staff like human beings and wages that barely amount to a hand to mouth existence. We work most weekends. We work most holidays already. We work til the stores are closed and then for hours after recovering them. We hardly see our families and friends as it is. And we do it with a smile and good humor. You ask why it’s being discussed and boycotted? I ask why are we so SELFISH as a nation that we can’t give the people who serve us one lousy effing day to be with the people they love or, if they don’t have anyone to share it with to simply put their feet up and REST. I’ve got a better idea; close ALL the stores on the day. No business ever went under for want of being open on the day and noone ever dropped dead because they had to wait a day to get a TV or an XBox or whatever the hell else . Get what you need BEFORE the holiday. Make a list. Follow it. And if you forget something suck it up and deal. In short, behave like you’re a member of a species that recently landed a spaceship on a friggin comet and not like a spoiled child incapable of dealing with a few hours delayed gratification.
    Bob Wagner St Paul
    AKA Bob The Muppet. Retail Customer Service Pro Extraordinaire

    • Bob, I think you missed the sarcasm in my post, and I admit it rambled and didn’t end up where it looked to be going, in fact the part you’re talking about never gets settled here, except for my flippant comment about getting another job. What I was getting at was that people have always had to work on the holidays. Always. It hasn’t been until this black friday craziness that it became cool to boycott it. I’m happy if we close all the stores, again I think you missed the sarcasm or schtick of my post. I’ve been on both sides of this argument and I will tell you this. I work every day of the year, and I will be working on Thanksgiving. Not because some boss will fire me but because I have to get the work done. I’ve owned shops and if people were buying on those days I would have been open to try to make some money. I would have worked it myself and asked if anyone wanted to volunteer. If that isn’t happening then it is time to look for another job. And there are a lot more service industry/customer service jobs available in MN than there are other positions right now. It’s a pain to switch, I get it. It shouldn’t have to be this way, I get that too. But the truth is, that’s the way it is. Boycotting the stores isn’t going to change this (again, a point missed that I was trying to make). I’m not going to argue, this post could have been edited to better make the point I’m trying to make but then it wouldn’t fit here. Should people spend the day with their family. Absolutely. But what about those people who work in a hospital? What about the divorced parents who don’t have their kids that year? What about the person who doesn’t have a good relationship with his family, or who has isolated himself and doesn’t have friends or family to celebrate? How are we going to make their Thanksgiving a good day? It’s a ridiculous comparison but why are people who work at Walmart any different? Life isn’t fucking fair, we all have our struggles and we make compromises sometimes. I have to be honest with you, I am surprised by your response. You’re one of the most responsible people I know and yet you are giving away your power to company owners or big corp (if I am interpreting your response correctly and I admit I might be missing it.)

  • Tracie G

    Because if all the stores are open then OUR LOVED ONES can’t spend the holidays at home. Could your blog post have more me, me, I, I in it or points that make no sense? Way to jump the bandwagon. It’s clear it isn’t even a topic you feel strongly about. I almost wish I wasn’t here contributing to your metrics.

    • Tracie, obviously you haven’t been to my blog before, it is all about me, me, me. Lighten up. Sorry you wasted your time reading and commenting… but then that isn’t my responsibility is it?

  • Happy Thanksgiving, Jen. I think they should start deep discounts in July. That way holiday shopping is a shuffle instead of a sprint and nobody gets trampled at the doors.