Thursday, November 20, 2014

Remember Thanksgiving - Boycott Black Thursday

I love the holiday season with all the decorations, music, food, and excitement. But one thing saddens me: the diminished attention giving to Thanksgiving. Sure, I joke with my friends and post Christmas countdowns way too early. I hum Christmas songs weeks before Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart. It is a time to truly be grateful for everything we have no matter how seemingly inconsequential. I am upset how Thanksgiving is being treated now as the starting day of Christmas shopping.

Oh, how I cringe and my heart sinks when I see news video of people knocking each other down to get fifty dollars off a TV on Black Friday.  People camp out in front of stores sometimes weeks in advance. I believe it should be renamed Greed Day. And now some stores want to open on Thanksgiving day, forcing their employees to abandon their friends and family only to deal with massive, unruly crowds. Why are we doing this to such an important holiday? Why are some malls being greedy and demanding stores to open on Thanksgiving?  I applaud and will only patronize those stores this holiday season who refuse to cave in and stay open on Thanksgiving Day. Here is a current list of stores so far doing the right thing by staying closed- please support them this holiday season:

American Girl
Barnes & Noble
Bed, Bath and Beyond
BJ’s Wholesale Club
Burlington Coat Factory

Crate & Barrel
Hobby Lobby
Home Depot
Jo Ann Fabrics
Nieman Marcus
Pier 1
Sam’s Club
Sierra Trading Post
Shop Rite
Sur La Table
T.J. Maxx
Trader Joe's


Holidays aren't the only time stores should remain closed. When I was growing up stores were closed in Massachusetts on Sundays because of blue laws. People actually got to spend time with their families and friends doing something other than shopping. I am probably alone in this opinion, but I want blue laws back.

I would be lying to you if I said I don't like shopping for or buying gifts. I drool over the latest new gadgets like anyone else. I take great pleasure in seeing my nephews open their gifts on Christmas morning. But I try to make my main gift on Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season the gift of spending time with loved ones: laughing, listening, and doing fun activities, letting them know how grateful I am to have them in my life. That is something that is priceless; you can't buy it in a store.

So this Thanksgiving I have a challenge for all of you: stay away from all stores on Thanksgiving Day - join Boycott Black Thursday. If you'd like to go a step further, boycott those stores during the holiday season that did open.  Spend Thanksgiving Day reflecting on everything, big or little, and everyone in your life that you are grateful for. Actually go up to people in person, not via texting or email or social media, and hug them, tell them how much they mean to you and how they've made your life richer.  If you have a lot, give to others less fortunate. Donate to your favorite charities in honor of loved ones who are no longer here. Let us keep the true spirit of Thanksgiving alive.