Skip to comments.Thanksgiving Day shopping called 'assault' on family life
Posted on 11/22/2012 2:16:10 PM PST by NYer
.- The expansion of Thanksgiving weekend shopping to the holiday itself has raised concerns among both workers and clergy who worry that the change puts family time at risk.
Father Sinclair Oubre, Spiritual Moderator of the Texas-based Catholic Labor Network, said the store openings are a “disturbing trend” that is “an assault on the family.”
“We have almost completed the evolutionary process of having two classes of workers: those who get holidays off, and can stay with their families, and those who are forced to work, so that those who have holidays off won't have to stay with their families,” Fr. Oubre said.
Retailers such as Sears, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Toys “R” Us and Gap are increasingly opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day. The following day, known as Black Friday, is one of the most profitable shopping days of the year.
Business analysts cite increased competition from internet shopping and some customers’ desires to shop on Thanksgiving as motives to open stores on what is traditionally a day off, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In 2011, retailers who opened on Thanksgiving Day earned 22 percent more over the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Two popular internet petitions on the Change.org website are protesting the changes.
Casey St. Clair, a Target employee of six years from Corona, Calif., organized one petition to “save Thanksgiving” that now has over 370,000 signatures.
She said Thanksgiving Day off “really does give me that one day to relax and visit family I otherwise have no time to see.”
Introducing more business hours on the evening of Thanksgiving Day means that employees need to arrive hours before the store opens, she explained.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York criticized the new phenomenon of Thanksgiving Day shopping in a Nov. 20 essay in the New York Post.
“The stores, we hear, will open on Thanksgiving. Isn’t that a sign of progress and liberation?” he asked. “Sorry, but no — it’s a sign of a further descent into a highly privatized, impersonal, keep-people-at-a-distance culture, one that values having stuff and doing things over just being with people whom we love, cherish and appreciate.”
The cardinal said he will pray this Thanksgiving that God preserve “a culture where personal friendship, genuine conversation and family unity can be a high priority.”
“I’ll beg God to keep those values constant in our society,” he said. “Why? Because I’m fearful they’re disappearing.”
The only exception I would make is if someone urgently needs medical-type supplies or something really essential unexpectedly. One year I was overjoyed that K-Mart was open where I could buy lidocaine ointment for some burning skin pain. But that’s not what this article is about, obviously.
I’d certainly sign up for Black Fridays every damn Friday of the year!
I’ve had family and friends in retail all my life, and did some time there myself. I know lots of people that have had to go to work late Thanksgiving to get things setup for Black Friday. Some were “lucky” to work for a store that kept them late Wednesday to get things setup, I mock the lucky because that generally means getting home from Wednesday’s work in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning, which really isn’t that great either.
You also have to keep in mind the character of Black Friday has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. It used to be an all day event with sales throughout stores. Now it’s a festival of doorbusters. Black Friday now is over 2 hours after doors open. Which is part of the push for the early openings. WalMart is following the lead of their biggest competitor, Target opened at 9PM last year and this year, WalMart opted for 8PM this year.
I don’t shop Black Friday, no matter when they start it. I have a life rule against working harder to spend money than I did to make it, and I don’t work very hard to make money. But I don’t object to Black Friday.
I just tipped a waitress $20 on a $35 bill. Thanksgiving dinner plans at my favorite restaurant got messed up, then we found one of our other favorites was open, delicious Mexican seafood to the rescue. Discussed the whole working Thanksgiving situation with the waitress, she volunteered. Turns out her family is a lot like my family and doesn’t consider a holiday complete until there’s been a screaming argument, so she opted out. Much like the wife and I, which is why we find a restaurant for Thanksgiving. Not everybody lives in a Norman Rockwell painting. And the ones that do, well they can plan around the work schedule. There’s no law that says you can only have magnificent feasts with your family on holidays.
I tanked up my automobile this morning and wrote checks for two bills, water and Internet. Am I going to hell?
And do any of them wonder who’s keeping their ISP up so they can be logged onto the internet? Somebody somewhere is at least checking server pulses, hopefully at home in between courses, but maybe not.
Couldn't answer my question could you? Here, let me ask it again in case you missed it:
What can't be purchased on the days following Thanksgiving that's being offered on Thanksgiving day with the merchants' employees being forced to work?
If the block was only 15 minutes somebody was on call. Actually I’m pretty sure it’s against FCC rules to not have somebody that can run the antenna on site at all times. And he’s probably the guy that had to drive to the studio (which are almost never anywhere near the antenna for some strange reason) to fix the program.
Somebody has to work to keep the Internet running. You can blame Al Gore for inventing such a system.
Yup! And as you mentioned, there are lots of restaurants open on Thanksgiving - we just prefer to cook at home and not have to worry about getting dressed :-)
And where is the freedom of the workers who are forced to work on the holidays? No one is more anti-communist than me but this is an abuse of the workers. It is the absolutizing of libertarian ideals that makes communism attractive; it was Scrooge who created Marx.
Pretty soon, the only people who won’t be working on Thanksgiving and Christmas will be government employees.
The blocks ends at exactly 15, 30 minutes, etc., because the programming finally catches up and synchs the correct feed to the channel requirement. No engineer is within even 45 minutes driving distance of the tower and shack and these are many times inaccessible for days at a time in the winter.
Be careful what you wish for.....someday...we may have this...EMP? Dead business climate...
Do you have any documentation showing ties between Fr. Oubre, and the Communists/White House?
Really, I'd be interested to know.
I agree with this priest that it's a decent, solidly American-traditional, family-friendly and God-pleasing thing to have a day free of the merchandizing stampede, when people can gather their family frm far and wide, have a fine dinner and praise the Almighty.
I think the stores should be closed on Thanksgiving. They were when I was young, and we were all grateful for it. But that was a better America.
We should all choose not to participate-— if we possibly can. We should even choose to exercise our citizenship rights, to shape the kind of society and the kind of culture we want. I’d bring back the Blue Laws.
That's who we serve.
Don't ya know?
Just wish I had a job right now.
IN my youth,only the grocery and gas stations were open on Sundays ,and only for a few hours after morning services.Something like 10am until 2 pm.
Sundays and holidays were not excuses to go shopping.
We have come so far...but is it on the right road ?
They need to make money and it is tight.Open early and get the money.We have 9 Black Friday shoppers here at our house today who skipped it this year.
MEMO TO GOPe: If you had appealed to the Black Friday shoppers you’d have won the election! Like, perhaps, offering a couple of percent off!