Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with the holiday comes rest, relaxation and time spent with family around the dinner table or watching the football game and parade. However, for the third year in a row, Macy’s will be opening on Thanksgiving, along with others retail stores, such as Sears, Toys R Us and J.C. Penney. Thanksgiving should be a day when everyone is given a much-deserved break from the hectic pre-holiday shopping. Rather than going out and fighting with strangers over the latest toy that you want to get your child or the last item on sale, we should be spending the holiday with the people who mean the most to us.

When I first learned years ago that Black Friday was extending to the day of Thanksgiving instead of simply being the day after, I could not help but roll my eyes. The irony of the decision is almost laughable. The decision to shop earlier is done so that we can get our loved ones the gifts that we know they will love for a good price, but in doing so we are losing valuable time spent with those same people. Gifts are not the only way to show our love and appreciation for our family and friends. Rather, we can express our love and extend gratitude by forgoing our shopping until the holiday is officially over.

Additionally, many workers are taken away from their families when these stores remain open. Instead of enjoying time off with their families, they are forced to spend the holiday mediating angry shoppers who, instead of being kind and considerate, are pushing, shoving and even sometimes trampling others to get to the front of the line. This is unfair to the workers and overall unacceptable behavior. The stores opening earlier and promoting their outrageous sales only maintains the notion that if you do not get there early and fight for your spot, then you will be missing out on something great, and that is not the case. We need to recall our past values and realize that what people will truly be missing out on is spending time with the people that they love back home.

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