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Safeway to Open on Christmas (The unraveling of an American Tradition?)
The Washington Post ^ | 12/11/04 | mek1959

Posted on 12/11/2004 5:45:15 AM PST by mek1959

Safeway Inc. yesterday said that for the first time, it will open many of its supermarkets on Christmas Day, a move that triggered an angry protest from the union representing the grocer's Washington area employees.

Safeway will become the region's first -- and only -- major supermarket chain to operate stores on Christmas, one of the last holidays observed by U.S. grocers, which now routinely open on Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Maryland; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: christmas; christmasday; culture; family; jesus; safeway; traditions
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This really bothered me and has become the topic of many local talk shows around town. Culture wars are fought through many small battles. This to me seems to be one of those small battles.

Since 1870, we've celebrated Christmas as a national holiday. Over the years, this has turned into a day off for most people with the exception of essential personnel. Well, in this area, this seems to be changing.

As a business owner, I can assure you that other retail outlets are paying close attention to this little change. If Safeway announces that this idea was a successful one, watch others adopt the same position in the coming years. When that happens, we'll have to say goodbye to the quiet peaceful no traffic Christmas mornings. The excitment of making sure all the batteries have been bought the day before. The sigh "whew, at least 7-11 is open"!

I know this may not be a big deal to some and some may be glad for this change. I for one am sad about this for I forsee a day when Christmas, in the words of one local talk show host, is just like labor day. No real mystery. No real pause.

1 posted on 12/11/2004 5:45:15 AM PST by mek1959
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To: mek1959

Meanwhile, the local Publix is closed on Christmas.


2 posted on 12/11/2004 5:46:19 AM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: Terpfen

when I have been in Tampa/Largo, I drive around with my wife and say "publix" over and over again...I dont know why though....


3 posted on 12/11/2004 5:47:49 AM PST by MikefromOhio (29 days until I can leave Iraq for good....)
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To: mek1959

I'm with you, it is a sad change.


4 posted on 12/11/2004 5:51:24 AM PST by Duke Nukum (When there is no room in Hell, the U.N. elect Bill Clinton as their president.)
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To: mek1959

I am so glad that I got out of retail three years ago. My former company (Kroger) will probably be doing this before long. If I were there I would refuse to work on Christmas.


5 posted on 12/11/2004 5:57:08 AM PST by SALChamps03
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To: mek1959

At 3 times the normal pay, I'd be one of the first to volunteer for the Christmas Day shift.


6 posted on 12/11/2004 6:15:39 AM PST by elli1
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To: mek1959

I used to drive cross country, semi-truck, and working on holidays was pretty much a given. Also when I worked on ranches, holidays what was that? Christmas day for many years I worked, it wasn't until I was about 35 that I actually had that whole day off. If I had been asked to work I did, no questions asked. In the Military you don't have much of a choice either.


7 posted on 12/11/2004 6:56:26 AM PST by OldBullrider
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To: mek1959

I've pulled guard duty, CQ and Duty Officer on every Holiday there is. When I flew for the airlines, I worked all of the holidays at one time or another. Drive around the DC area on Christmas and you'll see many Americans working. Safeway has a right to do what they are going to do.


8 posted on 12/11/2004 7:00:48 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: leadpenny

My wife has worked many a Christmas Day at the hospital. We just schedule around it. No biggie.


9 posted on 12/11/2004 7:05:12 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone

Good point. Hospitals never shut down.


10 posted on 12/11/2004 7:07:38 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: OldBullrider
I absolutely understand your point, as I was in the military as well and worked every Christmas. That's part of being considered essential personnel. And I'm certainly not against work. My point was only that if Christmas is lowered to on par with say Labor Day, or Holloween, it will be a sad day.
11 posted on 12/11/2004 7:10:24 AM PST by mek1959
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To: mek1959

Various responses on this thread seem to be geared toward essential personnel .. octors/nurses/military/police/ranch hands/truckers. Retail is quite different. There IS a choice. For one day of the year, to preserve the most traditional holiday of all, it would be nice to see the stores stay closed.

I've noticed, though, that in the DC area, Christmas does seem to have become just another day. 20+ years ago when we would travel on Christmas Day from VA to MD to visit famiy, we OWNED the Beltway ... now it looks like any commuting day.

Sad, just sad.


12 posted on 12/11/2004 7:14:00 AM PST by EDINVA (a FReeper in PJ's beats a CBS anchor in a suit every time)
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To: EDINVA

Thank you. You did a much better job of making my point!

We live in the Frederick County area so it's still pretty quiet - though with a Safeway just around the corner, that might change.


13 posted on 12/11/2004 7:16:28 AM PST by mek1959
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To: mek1959

I am horrified Safeway is doing this. I guess I'm shopping at Giant from now on.

Of course at 3x normal pay, the employees aren't going to suffer much. The consumers are, when Safeway management passes on the triple pay to us.

Merry Christmas!


14 posted on 12/11/2004 7:30:46 AM PST by Hoodlum91
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To: mek1959
if Christmas is lowered to on par with say Labor Day, or Holloween, it will be a sad day.

That's the goal!

15 posted on 12/11/2004 7:35:50 AM PST by ladyjane (<i>)
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To: mek1959
While I'm not thrilled about people people having to work on Christmas, I'm a libertarian and view it as their right. If a company wants to make that change, that's their right as well.

I don't advise protests or boycotting or whatall, but if you really unhappy, encourage all your friends to stock up the day before and to exercise some restraint on Christmas itself.

These are all private, individual, choices. That's freedom.

16 posted on 12/11/2004 7:46:16 AM PST by WileyC
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To: EDINVA

I remember that, too, Ed. But look at what the Washington area has become...we are choked with immigrants now, and the roads are impassable all the time from sheer volume. And many of them are Muslims and Hindus who have no interest in Christmas. I think the retailers are catering to them and to the almighty dollar.


17 posted on 12/11/2004 7:51:13 AM PST by DC native
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To: mek1959
Isn't it interesting how the word sheep rymes with sleep?
18 posted on 12/11/2004 7:55:25 AM PST by patriot_wes
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To: elli1
>Safeway Inc. yesterday said that for the first time, it will open many of its supermarkets on Christmas Day, a move that triggered an angry protest from the union representing the grocer's Washington area employees
>>At 3 times the normal pay, I'd be one of the first to volunteer for the Christmas Day shift.

How can a union
be angry at a move that
gets employees cash?!

I know lots of folks
for whom an extra day's pay
is a great present!

19 posted on 12/11/2004 8:00:54 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: MikeinIraq

You're obviously enchanted by the quality of the store and its uncanny ability to have 16 checkout lanes, yet only use three of them.


20 posted on 12/11/2004 8:01:27 AM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: mek1959

Fine.

Make all the atheists work that day for straight time.


21 posted on 12/11/2004 8:03:17 AM PST by Pete'sWife (Dirt is for racing... asphalt is for getting there.)
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To: mek1959
"I for one am sad about this for I forsee a day when Christmas, in the words of one local talk show host, is just like labor day. No real mystery. No real pause."

THAT train left the station a long time ago.

22 posted on 12/11/2004 8:04:00 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (French: old Europe word meaning surrender)
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To: Terpfen
Meanwhile, the local Publix is closed on Christmas.

And do you remember what a big deal it was when Publix announced they were going to open on Sundays? If I recall, this was back in the 70s--my grandmother was so upset about this, she stopped shopping there.

23 posted on 12/11/2004 8:04:49 AM PST by RepoGirl (Rottweilers are republican; all cats vote nader.)
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To: Dog Gone

When I worked in the hospitals, before I had a kid, I would volunteer to work Christmas morning, so that some one else could be home with their family.


24 posted on 12/11/2004 8:12:45 AM PST by tiamat (Solis Invicti)
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To: mek1959

Why aren't government offices open on Christmas too? I wonder if the ACLU is open Christmas day? Hypocrates.


25 posted on 12/11/2004 8:13:10 AM PST by Nuzcruizer
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To: RepoGirl

That's before my time--I was born in 1984.


26 posted on 12/11/2004 8:13:44 AM PST by Terpfen (Gore/Sharpton '08: it's Al-right!)
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To: Pete'sWife

I'm not an atheist, but I'm not a Christian either.

See post #24.

I got time and a half, which was nice, but that WAS NOT the motivation.

Merry Christmas.


27 posted on 12/11/2004 8:14:53 AM PST by tiamat (Solis Invicti)
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To: Pete'sWife

I'm not an atheist, but I'm not a Christian either.

See post #24.

I got time and a half, which was nice, but that WAS NOT the motivation.

Merry Christmas.


28 posted on 12/11/2004 8:15:39 AM PST by tiamat (Solis Invicti)
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To: Pete'sWife

Computer burp.

Sorry for the double post.


29 posted on 12/11/2004 8:16:22 AM PST by tiamat (Solis Invicti)
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To: Nuzcruizer
Why aren't government offices open on Christmas too? I wonder if the ACLU is open Christmas day? Hypocrates.

I'm trying to follow your "logic" here. Are you saying because a company like Safeway makes this decision it's the government's and ACLU's fault and hence they should be forced to stay open, too?

Explain yourself, please.

(Hint: Safeway is not being forced or sued into being open)

30 posted on 12/11/2004 8:19:14 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: mek1959

Well one thing is for sure...... If they don't have the customers frequenting the store and spending dollars this experiment will cease.... On the other hand if the customers show up and desire to spend their money on Christmas day then some enterprising company will be there of offer them that opportunity..... Maybe it isn't the stores fault but rather the attitudes of the buying public that have changed.... If so don't fault the store after all they are only providing services that the public is willing to pay for. JMO......


31 posted on 12/11/2004 8:22:17 AM PST by deport (I've done a lot things.... seen a lot of things..... Most of which I don't remember.)
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To: cyncooper

Because government, by the ACLU logic, is supposed to be non- religious, therefore it's offices should be open. As should the ACLU considering they are anti-Christian/ Christmas. Whats so difficult to understand?


32 posted on 12/11/2004 8:26:04 AM PST by Nuzcruizer
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To: EDINVA

Thanks for getting the point and reiterating it for the thicker heads.


33 posted on 12/11/2004 8:27:13 AM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan.)
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To: tiamat
That was very kind of you.

Christmas morning was always the special time for my family, but we'd celebrate it early on Christmas Eve if the work schedule ruled out the gifts that morning.

By Christmas afternoon, I'm looking for a football game to watch or to go shopping for something we forgot earlier.

34 posted on 12/11/2004 8:27:37 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Nuzcruizer

We're talking about Safeway.

I have no problem with their decision. I won't be shopping there on that day, but they must figure they'll have customers.


35 posted on 12/11/2004 8:27:57 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: Hoodlum91
the employees aren't going to suffer much.

No, but for Christendom (already on life support) it's a hand on the plug being pulled.

36 posted on 12/11/2004 8:33:23 AM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan.)
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To: theFIRMbss
At 3 times the normal pay, I'd be one of the first to volunteer for the Christmas Day shift.

Ah, one more "conservative" who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing!

37 posted on 12/11/2004 8:37:39 AM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan.)
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To: Dog Gone

I had a lot of friends at the hospital with kids at the time.

It all worked out.

:-)



38 posted on 12/11/2004 8:37:41 AM PST by tiamat (Solis Invicti)
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To: mek1959

BREAKING: FREE REPUBLIC TO STAY OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!


39 posted on 12/11/2004 8:38:05 AM PST by fish hawk
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To: mek1959
Since 1870, we've celebrated Christmas as a national holiday. Over the years, this has turned into a day off for most people with the exception of essential personnel. Well, in this area, this seems to be changing.

And the left has let out a communal cheer. How very sad.

And they'll have to stay open also, just to stay competitive. And some of the workers will demand the 'right' to work on those days. I was a kid, but I remember when most stores were closed on Sundays and the big commotion when certain stores in Ohio (I'm in PA) opened on Sundays for limited hours. By the time I was a teen, malls and many stores were open, at least for 5 hours, routinely, and it changed the way most everyone used their time on Sundays. Now everyone is open Sundays, and even factory and other work is staggered so there is no real weekend or Sunday set aside.

I for one am sad about this for I forsee a day when Christmas, in the words of one local talk show host, is just like labor day.

I am sad about this, too.

40 posted on 12/11/2004 8:40:05 AM PST by fortunecookie (My grandparents didn't flee communism so that I could live in Kerry's Kommune - and I won't have to.)
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To: iconoclast
No, but for Christendom (already on life support) it's a hand on the plug being pulled.

If Christendom is seriously threatened by a grocery store being open or not, then we all might as well convert to Islam immediately.

41 posted on 12/11/2004 8:42:51 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: leadpenny
Safeway has a right to do what they are going to do."""

Yes, they have a right to be wrong. They're subverting a revered holiday and an honored tradition, and a key component of our culture, by moving us in the direction of treating Christmas as just another day, as opposed to a day of rest, reflection, quiet, family. Of COURSE even on Christmas many people have always had to work in jobs that by their nature can't shut down. But retail is another thing. To keep retail stores open on christmas robs the day of any specialness - - and THAT WOULD ROB OUR CULTURE OF SOMETHING VERY TRADITIONAL, CONSERVATIVE AND VALUABLE. SHAME ON SAFEWAY.

42 posted on 12/11/2004 8:46:27 AM PST by freedomdefender
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To: elli1

SHAME ON SAFEWAY. i'm sure the ACLU and other leftist organizations that want to stamp out Christmas and our basic cultural traditions are VERY PLEASED WITH SAFEWAY.


43 posted on 12/11/2004 8:47:31 AM PST by freedomdefender
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To: Dog Gone
If Christendom is seriously threatened by a grocery store being open or not, then we all might as well convert to Islam immediately.

If its all the same to you, I think I'll take my advice on the restoration of Christendom from someone for whom it occurs to include worship on Christmas day (there'll still be time for your football game).

44 posted on 12/11/2004 8:48:47 AM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan.)
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To: cyncooper

We are talking about business's being open on Christmas day, not just Safeway.
If Safeway and other stores can force their employee to work on Christmas day, why can't the government? Government offices are after all, a business, and a public service.
I don't see why people should get overtime either. It's a religious thing for Christians only. I would say, only Christians can have the day off. Let's take this and turn it around on these anti-Christian/Christmas people. Step backwards with labor rights they have fought for. This is a sure way to errode their support base. If they want to be proudly non- Christian, then they shouldn't accept benifits and religious days off allowed for Christians.

Make no mistake, I'm all for Christmas, Christianity being part of the fabric of the nation. But if these people don't want to respect that, then hit them where it hurts, make them work like it's the normal non- special day they think it is. Christians will have the day off however. I bet there will suddenly be many more Christians if that were the rule. I'd make them prove it, show me your church attendance card!!


45 posted on 12/11/2004 8:48:56 AM PST by Nuzcruizer
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To: Dog Gone
If Christendom is seriously threatened by a grocery store being open or not, then we all might as well convert to Islam immediately."""

IF we start treating Christmas Day like every other day - - with the stores open and no sense of quiet, reflection and reverence - - - then WE'RE LIKE AN ISLAMIC COUNTRY ALREADY. They don't honor Christmas, either. SHAME ON SAFEWAY.

46 posted on 12/11/2004 8:49:35 AM PST by freedomdefender
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To: mek1959

IIRC, wasn't Safeway founded in the 'parenthesis' state of California? If so, it doesn't surprise me.


47 posted on 12/11/2004 8:51:22 AM PST by Jackknife (.......Land of the Free,because of the Brave.)
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To: mek1959
As a reformed radio newsman and talk show host, I've worked plenty a Christmas day in the past -- you learn to schedule around it and celebrate the season.

A business being open or not does not diminish the importance or significance of the season.

48 posted on 12/11/2004 8:52:05 AM PST by mhking (Vote for Ramblings' Journal for best conservative blog @ http://2004weblogawards.com/)
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To: mek1959

One of the reasons that I sometimes eat at Chick-Fila is that they are closed on Sundays. I like and respect that.


49 posted on 12/11/2004 8:52:07 AM PST by cowtowney
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To: mhking
A business being open or not does not diminish the importance or significance of the season."""

If all retailers stay open on Christmas, so that it's just like a regular shopping day - like it was any Monday or any Saturday in the middle of August - of COURSE IT WILL DIMINISH THE SPECIALNESS AND REVERENCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS.

50 posted on 12/11/2004 8:55:42 AM PST by freedomdefender
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