Thanksgiving is a Day for Families to Gather and Give Thanks….not Shop. Just One Opinion.

Turkeyreading a book

11.21.18 • 12:17 pm EDT | 0 responses |

Thanksgiving Is a Time of Giving Thanks

Turkey Day is just around the corner and families are already making plans to gather.

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy – our homes, our harvests, and the time we spend with our families. In our current culture, that time seems increasingly to be disappearing with the rapidity of cranberry, turkey and stuffing off a Thanksgiving platter.

Many stores today are impinging on that ever-closing window of family time, even on traditional family holidays such as Thanksgiving. Some are even opening on Thanksgiving Day itself to get a jump on the traditional kick-off of the holiday shopping season, termed by retailers as “Black Friday.”

I often wondered why that particular term was adopted, but I guess it’s because retailers have a grand opportunity to get into “the black” or plus side of the profit ledger on THAT day, if they haven’t been all year.

I am certainly NOT against retailers and profits by any means, nor a vigorous economy, but can we hold the cash register “ka ching” till AFTER the turkey has at least cooled?

Probably a decade ago, Black Friday sales began inching into Thanksgiving Day itself, and, by 2012, many major retailers were open on Thanksgiving.

Stores are starting to try and outdo themselves with earlier and earlier opening times on Thanksgiving Day. Macy’s may have been one of the first to kick it off following its grand daddy of all Thanksgiving Day Parades, with the air barely let out of those lofty balloons of Superman and Snoopy, than the doors of Macy’s swing open at 5pm, hours earlier than last year, allowing shoppers in to jam their store for bargains.

Best Buy will open also at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day as will Target, with Walmart following close behind at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day.

And here’s one I had to blink to believe…Kmart. They will open at 8am on Thanksgiving Day!

That’s right, they will open in the morning,  just in case you would like to pop the bird in, and then get a little shopping done BEFORE the guests arrive.

Maybe I am sounding just a mite peevish over this, but sometimes BIG changes in a culture happen so gradually, we rarely take issue until it’s a done deal.

All right, maybe this might be an over reaction on my part, and people should have the right to shop when they want to, even at the cost of family time. BUT, those stores must be staffed with OTHER people that might not have had the option to work on a day they might have preferred to stay on the couch after the turkey, and be lulled with tryptophan from the bird – with a good book.

And here’s a big cheer for some brick and mortar store that choose, and it is a choice, to remain closed on Thanksgiving. They are Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale, and Nordstrom,

Despite threats of boycotts and angry phone calls from consumers; retailers continue the push for profits, even on a family holiday that evidences a need for families to gather for that ever rarer bonding time.

And YES, discussions involving cultural clashes may result at the table, and come to heated back and forths in a culture that is increasingly divided along political ideology, economic, gender, ethnicity, social class and other areas.

But, it’s also a time to give thanks for what we hold in commonality…our families, be they blood-related or chosen.

And, here’s a thought… maybe that shopping time could be better spent reading to a captive audience of small children gathered, and now sated at the feast, the famous six stanza poem by Lydia Maria Child, “Over the River And Through the Wood”. Plus, here are a great selection of others to choose from:


The Night Before Thanksgiving – Natasha Wing

In Every Tiny Grain of Sand – Reeve Lindbergh

Balloons Over Broadway – Melissa Sweet

Turkey Riddles – Katy Hall

I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie – Alison Jackson

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims – B.G. Hennessy

The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Book – Lauren Kraus Melmed; illus. Mark Buehner

Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving – Laurie Halse Anderson

The Firefighters’ Thanksgiving – Maribeth Bolts; illus. by Terry Widener


And so, as Dickens’ Bob Cratchit intoned to his family on another holiday, “To the founder of the feast!”, and as far as I’m concerned, that founder would probably agree with me, (Bah! Humbug!), and ask us to put off our shopping for just one more day!!

AND, it’s not too late to run out to a brick and mortar BOOK STORE today and buy one of these for the after feast read aloud to young readers!!!


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