Don’t shop on Thanksgiving: Spend the holiday with family and friends Print
Written by Mary Uhler   
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. Just ask any members of my family. They know I’m ready to shop at the drop of a hat — or any object, for that matter!

But when it comes to shopping on Thanksgiving Day, it’s another story. I have been resenting the encroachment of “Black Friday” — the name given to the day after Thanksgiving — onto the holiday itself.

Spend time giving thanks to God, with family

Thanksgiving is a day when we should spend time giving thanks to God for our many blessings. I usually start the day by attending Mass (and I’m disappointed that the church isn’t as packed as it should be).

Then we often host our family and some friends — sometimes those who have no other family in this area — for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, pumpkin pie (my special contribution to the meal), and all the trimmings.

We usually have a football game to watch, and some of us play some board games. Last year we had a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit.

Say no to shopping on Thanksgiving

It is NOT a day for shopping, in my opinion. And I’m not alone. This year there is a Facebook Page called “Say No To Shopping on Thanksgiving.” It had over 63,000 “likes” when I last checked.

The description of this Facebook Page is simple: “Show retailers you care more for family and friends. Stay home on Thanksgiving with your family.”

The page has information on which retailers will NOT be open for shopping on Thanksgiving. I have shared that list with my personal Facebook friends and encouraged them to share this list with their friends.

On October 30, Costco announced that it decided not to open its doors on Thanksgiving. That’s according to a group called Boycott Black Thursday. This group also said that such stores as Crate and Barrell, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Pier 1, REI, and TJ Maxx will all be closed on Thanksgiving.

There is not room to list all of these retailers here, but I encourage people to find out which stores are closed on Thanksgiving. Be sure to shop at some of those stores on other days of the week. I was pleased that some of my favorite stores are cooperating with the boycott.

Effect on workers

The other aspect of stores being open on Thanksgiving is how it affects workers. A story on CNNOpinion by Judy Ancel reported that some workers are protesting having to work on Thanksgiving.

For example, when Target announced that it would open at midnight on Thanksgiving and employees must report to work at 11 p.m., a worker in Omaha named Anthony Hardwick posted a petition asking the company to move its opening time to 5 a.m. on Friday.

Hardwick said, “A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation — all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night’s rest on Thanksgiving.”

According to the CNN story, Americans already work longer hours than in most countries. As incomes shrink, many low-wage workers have multiple jobs. Families’ work schedules make it difficult to have weekends or even dinners together. That’s why holidays provide one of the few opportunities for extended families to see each other.

I’m going to pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving Day. I urge others to join me and make this a true holiday of thanksgiving to God and a time to share our blessings with our families and others in our communities.