For the past several years in the United States, retailers have been chipping away at Thanksgiving. For retailers, Thanksgiving is an inconvenient time when their employees want to be home with their families instead of working, a day before the "real" holiday -- Black Friday.
And retailers have been waging a war against Thanksgiving, asking employees to come in earlier and earlier each year. Within only a few short years, retailers have done away with Thanksgiving entirely. Employees are required to be at work or lose their jobs. What was once a celebration of family and a reflection on what we are thankful for is being replaced by the crass commercialism of a day of deals and frantic, crowded, miserable shopping.
But one major retailer has taken a big stand in favor of its values. Costco is committed to shutting down on Thanksgiving, allowing employees to spend a quiet day with their families and experience the true meaning of the holiday. Costco is receiving a ton of good press over its decision, but with nearly every other major retailer opening its doors as if there were no holiday at all, the pressure is always on. Let's thank Costco for preserving Thanksgiving, and setting an excellent example for other retailers to follow.
Commercialism has already swamped Christmas, and it is devouring Thanksgiving. Many stores are rolling Black Friday deals into Thanksgiving and even before -- attempting to turn the months of November and December into relentless calls to consume. Some, like Best Buy, Walmart, and Toys "R" Us, force workers to clock-in even before the turkey is on the table in many households. It’s time to reverse this trend.
We need to hold up Costco and similar retailers for demonstrating values that more companies should embrace. By thanking stores that close on Thanksgiving, we can both reinforce the importance of this decision, and show other retailers that putting short-term profits over their employees -- and their values -- is harming their reputations and ultimately their bottom lines.
Thanksgiving is not about shopping. There are so many things we can do instead of fighting over Stuff at malls on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Spending time with those we love. Playing games with friends. Enjoying a walk outside. Writing personalized holiday messages for those closest to you. Let us count the blessings we have, not the Stuff that we want.
Washington Post: In Keeping With Its Values, Costco to Close on Thanksgiving, October 28, 2014
Time: Two Dozen Retailers Won't Open on Thanksgiving -And They're Shaming the Ones that Will, November 4, 2014