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A Differing Point of View: Black Thursday?

Shopping ON Thanksgiving does dishonor to a long traditional American holiday.

A week or so ago, we read the mainstream news on the phenomena of Black Thursday – an expansion of the concept of Black Friday.

This writer shudders at the mere mention of the idea. Another step to destroying  the spirit of a unique holiday:  Another attack on our basic values.

As most of us know, Thanksgiving predates the formation of the United States. It dates back to the original Pilgrim settlers. Their motivation stemmed from their religious belief in the mercy and goodness of GOD Almighty that brought them to a promised land where they could practice their faith freely. They set aside one day to thank HIM and celebrate their achieving true religious freedom. The United States Congress designated that day into  the law of the land. Perhaps the President will deign to grant a parole to the turkey and retire him to a farm .

Yet, today, we find the idea and purpose of Thanksgiving Day under attack. The Walmarts, K-Marts, Costcos, the Best Buys and others  are  putting their commercial gain ahead of our values.

Their rationale, we now have so many legitimate, as well as illegitimate residents that do not understand the history of Thanksgiving Day and it’s traditions. Perhaps, if we make it clear that if our new guests  want to enjoy the fruits of the land of opportunity It means learning and accepting our values. It’s not “just a long weekend”. Let us teach them the true meaning of Thanksgiving and expect them to enjoy their families, develop their traditions, visit their church of choice and give thanks for their good fortune. It may not be around long if we do not nurture it.

We have achieved a reasonable truce with the food supermarkets closing early – rescuing the home cooks in need of another dozen eggs, spices, bread, or whatever they ran out of at the last minute. Do your last-minute food shopping and retire to your homes and enjoy fostering your families.

 Beat the Cowboys! Black Friday will come soon enough.

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Jean Busch November 22, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Elizabeth - I agree completely. There is a "pledge" going around Facebook to not shop on Thanksgiving and I signed it and passed it along. There is nothing I need today that I can't buy tomorrow or next week, and I want to spend the precious time with my children and grandchildren. Let's all work together to defeat this new terrible idea.
Richard Holmquist November 22, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Ironic that Mr. Kenny would use this topic to make an anti-immigrant statement when the Pilgrims were among the first waves of immigrants to our shores. At the first Thanksgiving, King Massasoit brought five deer for the feast. Despite the strange new customs of these "visitors", he and ninety of his men joined the newcomers in a spirit of hospitality, peace and shared sacrifice - far from the spirit that your comments represent. You couldn't get me close to a mall on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, but I don't see it as any less respectful to the holiday and the original intent of Thanksgiving than sitting around a television watching football... rooting for the "Redskins." In fact, what I've seen is that Black Friday can be as strong a Thanksgiving tradition among some families as a back-yard football game is to others. What better way to give thanks for friends and family than to do something together that everyone enjoys, whether it be watching football, playing a pick-up game in the yard, or a shopping trip to the mall? The Thanksgiving holiday has changed over the years. You'll never force others' customs to your own and not everyone shares a religious perspective on the holiday, but I think most Americans, in their own ways, take this day to appreciate the things they have.
Amy November 22, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I'm not particularly religious myself, but I still think of Thanksgiving as a day to stop and think about everything I have -- the things that matter, like my family, my friends, my cats, a roof over my head, a job I enjoy -- that are so often overlooked these days under the pressures of deadlines, bills, and all the negativity we are surrounded by every day. Food, parades, and football play their part as well, but Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday that does not belong to any one religion (or any religion at all -- you don't have to be thankful to a deity for what you have; you can be thankful to your parents for the opportunities they worked to give you, to your friends for sharing your joys and supporting you in your sorrows, your boss for recognizing all your hard work; the list goes on). Some of those "new guests" may have even more to be thankful for; many of those who come here do so because staying where they were could cost them their lives, or at least the freedom to say and believe what they choose to. I agree with Mr. Kenny. Is it too much to ask for America to take even one whole day to look around and appreciate all we have instead of camping out at the mall to be the first to get the "latest thing" the media tells us we want.
Elizabeth November 22, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I like the way you expressed that, Amy. If I may, let me try to put some perspective on this: there are 365 days in a year. Out of those 365 days, there are probably three that are NOT considered "shopping" days: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. If you knock off Christmas as being a religion-based "holiday" not celebrated by 100% of the country, then shopping on that day, for those of religious persuasions other than Christianity, wouldn't matter in the grand scheme of things. So that now leaves two days where shopping really isn't high on the list of things to do in celebration - Thanksgiving and New Year's. Is it too much to ask that retailers honor those two days, for the sake of their employees, if for no other reason? The dollar that might be spent today could also be spent tomorrow... or any other of the remaining 363 days in the year. Can't we have TWO days a year where the almighty dollar doesn't rule? Can't we?
The Convict November 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM
This extension of the Christmas shopping season onto Thanksgiving day is just more evidence to me that business is more concerned with making a buck than with the good of the people it is supposed to serve. I refused to shop for anything other than the odd grocery yesterday. And through judicious planning, I was even able to forego that trip to the store.

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