Work on Thanksgiving? No way on this day.

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So what do we do? We not only perpetuate Black Friday; now we start our shopping on Thanksgiving Day itself. Within the last few years, Walmart, Kmart, Best Buy, Target and Toys R Us, among many others, have opened their doors late on Thanksgiving Day. That way, people can stumble away from the table and directly to the store. The idea appalls me, and I wish it were illegal. Can’t we have one genuine American holiday that’s a day of peace and family and good food and rest?

My husband, a businessman, says that in a soft economy, opening stores on the holiday is necessary, not only to do more business but to offer workers the chance to make extra money. I say most workers would appreciate a day off and surely resent the obligation to show up at work on Thanksgiving Day. And let me guess: The burden falls mostly on working women, who may hold down a job as a cashier at Target but most likely also buy and cook the food for the holiday.

Most of the retailers are opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, but Kmart and Old Navy are pushing the envelope, opening at 6 a.m.

I recently heard about a movement that has been around for a few years, known as Buy Nothing Day. It’s an international day of protest against consumerism, and in the U.S. it’s held on Black Friday. Since 1992, people protesting over-consumption (what, us?) have participated in various activities such as cutting up credit cards, sitting in, throwing free street parties and wandering through stores with empty shopping carts. My favorite protest activity is the zombie walk: stomping around a mall with a blank look on one’s face.

Mind you, I don’t participate in BND, nor do I advocate for it, but I understand the frustration with the ramping up of shopping and tumult and materialism just at the time of year when our hearts and minds should turn to family and friends and peace.

Nordstrom and Costco and Burlington Coat Factory, among others, have announced that they will not ruin their employees’ Thanksgiving by opening on the holiday.
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