I plan to shop on Thanksgiving.

So there’s this new trend going around about people who are outraged that stores are opening on Thanksgiving. The argument is that it forces employees to work instead of spending time with their families. But as someone who never gets to celebrate the holidays with family, I’m not really understanding the problem. (Don’t get me wrong, I completely sympathize with retail workers who have to deal with Black Friday crowds. Nobody should be worried about getting trampled at work over a discount television.)

But why do retail workers suddenly get so much sympathy because they will be missing a holiday? Healthcare professionals, gas station and convenience store employees, electricians and plumbers, the police and fire department, any sort of emergency service…these hardworking people have been missing out on holidays for years and years now. Sure, it’s a choice. When you choose a career in one of these fields, you know you are sacrificing valuable family time during holidays. But retail workers have a choice too. It bugs me a little to see people so outraged by the idea of Walmart asking their workers to forego Thanksgiving, yet people so rarely stop and consider that there are lots of people who work on every holiday. We certainly take a large portion of our work force for granted.

My boyfriend will not have Thanksgiving off, and he doesn’t get paid overtime for working on the holidays. My parents are also in the healthcare profession and will be working (as usual) on Thanksgiving. It’s not such a bad thing, it just makes us appreciate the time we do spend together even more. So this means I will be spending Thanksgiving alone….and I’ll probably go shopping. And I think it’s absolutely ridiculous for anyone to judge me for my choice to shop on Thanksgiving.

Sorry about the random rant, I’ve been seeing a lot of these “Boycott stores on Thanksgiving” articles going around. I’m thankful for stores that do stay open, and I’m thankful for all the workers who keep things running smoothly. They’re definitely the unsung heroes!

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One thought on “I plan to shop on Thanksgiving.

  1. You are certainly right in that you shouldn’t be judged for making a choice to shop on Thanksgiving.
    I think the difference – for me anyway – is that there are jobs that I consider essential: hospital workers, police, etc. But stores choosing to open on Thanksgiving day aren’t essential. Maybe a matter of “needs” versus “wants”…
    Having worked retail, I would not be happy about having to work on a holiday. However, if I was forced to, I’m inclined to think that I would want to be busy — it always made the time go much faster. The mall my store was located in had extended hours in December …. but nobody was shopping in our store that extra hour and the wait was maddening.

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