Is shopping infringing on Thanksgiving?


Abby Ng

Shoppers flood Walmart on Black Friday, looking for deals on clothes, toys and electronics.

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for all that we have: the people in our lives, the opportunities we receive, and the things we care about. Typically, on Thanksgiving, most stores stay closed to observe the holiday and to give employees a day off to celebrate. However, in the past decade, stores have actually been opening on the evening of Thanksgiving, rather than waiting until Black Friday. Macy’s, Target, and Best Buy are just a few stores that will be open by 6pm on Thanksgiving evening this year, a time traditionally spent on family get-togethers, special dinners, and thankfulness in general. Employees who work on Thanksgiving can’t enjoy these traditions.

The most famous Thanksgiving celebration was the feast that the Pilgrims and the Native Americans shared after a successful harvest. The day was all about giving thanks for their newfound success in America. Today, many families celebrate the festival with a Thanksgiving dinner, where each person shares what they are thankful for. Shops that are open during this time take employees away from their families and prevent them from partaking in this giving of thanks.

Open stores on Thanksgiving not only take away employees away from their families, but also attract shoppers with great deals and huge sales. People rush into stores on Thanksgiving to buy things at the cheapest prices. This shifts the focus away from the whole concept of giving thanks and spending time with family, and ironically, it gives people the message to buy more items, because they’re not satisfied with what they already have.

For many stores, Thanksgiving is just another great opportunity to make loads of money. But for the rest of the world, Thanksgiving is a time that should be celebrated at home. Ellie Kost (’18) says, “I like to spend time with my family on Thanksgiving. Stores that are open on Thanksgiving evening just take away from the meaning of the holiday.”