In a November 4 article, Time.com ran an article with the headline “Two Dozen Retailers Won’t Open on Thanksgiving And They’re Shaming the Ones That Will”.
This is big news?
I hate to tell Time.com but they are way off on their numbers. A serious reality check is needed on the figure “two dozen”!
It would be more accurate to say: many thousands of retailers will be closed on Thanksgiving, and a few dozen big chains really don’t care. Those retailers who will be closed have always done this, not as marketing, but as a principle. These retailers are members of the local community who would never even consider dragging people away from their families to work retail on Thanksgiving.
They are business owners who live in the same town as their employees, and care about the people in it, long after the holiday shopping blitz is over. They sponsor local events and teams, donate to local causes and organizations, and value their employees as people, not simply as a cog in a money making machine.
In the 10+ years my wife and I have run a retail business, we have always been closed on Thanksgiving. We plan to be at home, sharing a meal with family and guests, and can’t imagine preventing anyone who works for us from doing the same.
In its simplest form this is about living the golden rule. We are a family oriented business so this is natural, not newsworthy. What is astonishing to me is that this is news. Large stores on both sides of the issue reap the benefits of free publicity, while thousands of other businesses who always have always supported family time on Thanksgiving get none. Are they just to little to matter?
I am sure that St. Therese, when she talked about the “little way” of serving God through simplicity and love, did not have contemporary cultural shopping craziness in mind. Her wisdom applies, though.
Each one of us, in our own little way, in this coming time of retail madness, can serve God in simplicity and love, by the choices we make in how we shop, where we shop and what we choose as gifts. More and more I seek the local option for food, hardware, gifts and other things. While we do run an online Catholic store, we encourage people with a local Catholic store to support that store too.
Enjoy Thanksgiving. May it be for you a day of family, gratitude and many blessings.