If you missed it there was a lot of controversy about certain stores making people work on Thanksgiving. I’m still seeing this mentioned on occasion even though Thanksgiving is over.
A few of my friends were posting on FB about how it was destroying family time. A few others were mentioning it was unethical; seriously? Needless to say the longer it stayed in the news the odder the reasons became on FB.
When a friend of mine posted how it was just plain wrong and no one would shop on Thanksgiving anyway I found myself responding. Yes, I know you shouldn’t get in crazy fights on FB, but, hey, it happens sometimes before you even realize it.
Lets break it down a bit. While I realize that many feel the holidays are under attack I don’t believe everything should be automatically attributed to that. Here are a few things to keep in mind about this particular argument.
1. Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s true. For some it’s a cultural reason for others they just don’t. Some don’t like it and others find it too depressing. For whatever their reasons you should be respectful of that.
2. The economy sucks. Lets face it folks the US economy sucks right now. There are a lot of people who are out of work and those who are lucky enough to have a job don’t want to risk losing it. I’ve always thought if you were going to be open during a family holiday it should be volunteer only. There are a lot of people who need or want that extra income; no matter what economy.
3. If it reduced even one suicide it’s worth it. The holiday season has the most suicides than any other time of the year. I know here on military bases we tend to invite people over who might not have family near by, who’s family member is deployed, ect. Sometimes we’re thousands of miles from our loved ones, or no longer have loved ones. If someone is at work, with others, definitely not alone, that’d just make it worse, then they’ll feel just a little less alone and just a little less likely to commit suicide.
4. Demand. Yes, while there is a segment that insists that it’s family time and that stores should just give paid holidays, instead there is a demand for Thanksgiving shopping. Have you seen last years Black Friday? Or the year before? Riots! Seriously, people, I want deals too but there’s is never a reason to riot over Nike’s! There is a desire to shop on Thanksgiving; if there wasn’t the stores wouldn’t be open. It is not cost effective to have stores open, paying salaries, electricity, ect. and have no one shopping. Trust me stores didn’t decide this on a whim.
5. Escaping family! Not everyone wants to be around their family. Family time is all great but only if you like, or tolerate, your family. Some people abhor their family and spending time with them. Lets allow them a legit excuse to ditch the yearly trip to the emergency room shall we? The police deserve a break too.
6. Not everyone gets a day off. This one always makes military angry. They see people demanding holidays off and wish they got that. Not everyone gets a day off. Not everyone sees it as a right. Military, doctors, police, fire department; yeah, they all gotta work. Perhaps we should allow them the day off too? Lets see how well that works when no police show up for a robbery, or the hospitals are closed, I’m sure Great Uncle Joe didn’t really need 24 hour care. Be a little sensitive to the people who don’t have a choice about working holidays. My husband chose to be in the military and as a result has missed more Thanksgivings, Christmases, birthdays, ect than your little civilian heart can imagine.
It amazes me how in the US we rely on the businesses, as capitalists, but then demonize the very companies we rely on. Yes, holidays are under attack in the US, but not everyone is attacking you. Yes, it’d be nice to get the day off but please remember next year that not everyone gets to take it off.