Okay. I’ve given this some thought. Here’s why I think retailers shouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving:
Retail employees get very few things to look forward to in life. Most of them don’t get paid vacations, some of them may have to work every day of the week just to get hours. There are generally three days out of the year that retail employees don’t have to work: Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas. That’s it. Three days that retail employees know they get to breathe a sigh of relief.
That said, there are many occupations in this world where people don’t even get that. But people need emergency rooms. People don’t need a TV set.
On the flip side, there are many people who neither want nor need to celebrate Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas. I’ve worked on Easter. If someone asked me to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’d probably say okay too, so long as I could work it around my celebration schedule. I don’t need the entire day to celebrate.
So here’s the thing. No one should be forced to work a holiday. If a retailer wants to be open, they can be. I honestly have no problem with that. I don’t think they should be, as it doesn’t seem worth it to me, but if that’s what they want, then so be it. But the employers need to make do with the employees that actually want to work that day. Only one employee wants to work? So be it. Customers are going to have to wait in line? That’s unfortunate. Maybe they should be at home. They should also be handsomely rewarded–double time, not just time-and-a-half. This would likely up the number of people interested. This should be extended to any holiday where people generally get together with their family: 4th of July, New Years Eve/New Years Day (for the evening of the former and the morning of the latter), Memorial Day, Labor Day.
When push comes to shove, people don’t need to shop on those days. I understand why retailers are open: everyone else is off of work and has seemingly nothing but time. And if a retailer is suffering, being open on holidays isn’t going to get them out of the red. Being open on holidays isn’t a solution, it’s simply a matter of greed: on the retailers’ and the consumers’ parts. It’s not necessary, but, really, it’s not the end of the world.