28 November 2013

My answer to retailers who want to open on Thanksgiving Day

As I reported in a previous blog entry not too long ago Thanksgiving as we know it today is slowly becoming extinct, thanks to Corporate America who wants to make a quick buck by opening on Thanksgiving Day.  To me, opening on Thanksgiving is not right.
When a retailer opens their doors on Thanksgiving Day, their workers cannot even be with their families enjoying quality time.  Instead, a retailer's workers whose stores are open on Thanksgiving Day have to work like any other day.  As such, Thanksgiving related activities are disrupted thanks to Corporate America's desire to make a quick buck on a major holiday where traditionally almost everyone is closed save for the neighborhood convenience store.
In fact, I signed a petition on MoveOn.org that was started by Mike Lux pledging that I will not shop at a retailer that is open on Thanksgiving Day.  I would like to share the petition with you (if you would like to add your name to the petition, you can do so by clicking on the MoveOn.org link shown below):
In retail, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only two holidays that workers traditionally receive. Now that many stores are choosing to open on Thanksgiving, that break is being taken away, denying retail workers the rare opportunity to spend a holiday with their families. And most of these workers are only being paid minimum wage for their trouble.

A holiday should not be a luxury for the rich; we believe all workers deserve time to spend with loved ones.

That's why I signed a petition to Retail CEOs, which says:

"Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays that retail workers receive. By opening stores on Thanksgiving, stores rob thousands of men and women the opportunity to spend time with their families.

A holiday with family should not be a luxury for the rich; we believe that all workers deserve the chance to relax and give thanks with loved ones.

We, as consumers, have the power to tell stores not to open on Thanksgiving by staying home. We hereby pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving Day, to show the retail industry that everyone deserves a holiday."

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:

And I do agree with Mike Lux.  We as consumers need to show Corporate America that everyone, especially the retail industry, deserves a holiday such as Thanksgiving as well as Christmas.
Moreover, in three states - Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine - opening on Thanksgiving Day is illegal due to their respective state laws on the books that forbid retailers from opening their doors on a major holiday such as Thanksgiving, according to this ABC Action News article (WFTS-TV, the ABC affiliate here in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area).  Perhaps Florida needs to join Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine in getting a law passed that would prohibit retailers from opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day.
And it can be done.  All we Floridians - especially hard working Floridians who look forward to Thanksgiving to be with family and friends instead of work - need to do is to exert pressure on Tallahassee by writing or emailing our legislators.  We Floridians need to make our voices heard and heard loudly.
After all, Thanksgiving is part of a time honored tradition rooted in the foundation of the American republic, back when the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts and when Ponce De Leon landed in St. Augustine right here in our State of Florida in 1513.  It is a time to give thanks and a time for relationships with family and friends.  Back in my younger years I remember when practically everyone was closed on Thanksgiving Day - even the local McDonald's Restaurant and the statement below the store hours sticker:  We rest on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That's the way it should be.
Sadly, I have seen McDonald's open on Thanksgiving to a certain extent:  Some McDonald's only open for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, while I have seen McDonald's open all day on Thanksgiving.  However, I do not mind the better restaurants (NOT the fast food chains) opening only for Thanksgiving dinner for those people who would rather not cook a Thanksgiving dinner at home.
My answer to retailers who want to open on Thanksgiving Day, as the title of this blog entry states, is this:  I will refuse to patronize any retailer that shows disrespect of the values and traditions of the Thanksgiving holiday by not spending my hard earned money at a retailer that is open on Thanksgiving Day.  At least Corporate America will not get a Dollar of my hard earned money on Thanksgiving Day - if you believe in the values and traditions of Thanksgiving, you need to do the same.
I would like to wish all of my website and blog viewers both at EdwardRingwald.com and The Edward Ringwald Blog a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day.  Besides, Thanksgiving is the start of the Christmas holiday season, and onward with the holiday season!

15 November 2013

Is Thanksgiving Really Extinct?

Thanksgiving - and the start of the Christmas holiday season - is just around the corner.  As I reported about this same time last year, Thanksgiving is a time to be with friends and family, a time for big dinners and all the rites and rituals of Thanksgiving (being the grand entry way into the holiday season) including the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade shown on your local NBC affiliate (here in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, that would be WFLA-TV Channel 8) and the constant stream of holiday music that kicks off the season.

I got to agree, the holiday season is my favorite time of year.  It truly is.  Except to Corporate America, who wants to throw Thanksgiving in the trash by opening retail stores for the sole purpose of making a quick buck when in fact Thanksgiving is a day of rest.  Back in my younger days, I remember when practically everyone was closed on Thanksgiving Day as well as Christmas Day, save for the neighborhood convenience store around the corner for those last minute items you need.

This article I found at TruthOut.org really has me tiffed.  I cannot understand why more and more retailers are breaking tradition and opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day.  What these retailers that want to open on Thanksgiving Day are trying to do is to make that quick buck at the expense of their employees having to work on Thanksgiving Day instead of being with their families.  After all, being open for business on Thanksgiving Day is not right.

Here in St. Petersburg, we have one grocery retailer that has a long standing tradition of not being open on Thanksgiving:  Publix Super Markets.  That's the way it should be:  Thanksgiving is a time for family, not for making a profit.  For that reason, this is why I do my grocery shopping at Publix.  (And more friendlier staff!)

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry on Thanksgiving, if the founder of Publix, George Jenkins, ever found out that his stores were open on Thanksgiving Day, he would be very sad to see what Corporate America is doing to Thanksgiving.

But two other supermarket chains here in St. Petersburg prefer to be open, all in the name of customer convenience:  Sweetbay and Winn-Dixie.  Sweetbay from what I understand is in the process of being bought out by Bi-Lo Holdings of Jacksonville, the same company that owns Winn-Dixie.  Even when Sweetbay is finally bought out and the Sweetbay name disappears from the St. Petersburg grocery landscape, Winn-Dixie - and their open on Thanksgiving Day policy - will still be around.

So, who is planning to be open to a degree on Thanksgiving Day?  According to an article in USA Today as mentioned in the TruthOut.org article, you'll be surprised:

Target:  8 PM
Best Buy:  6 PM
Macy's:  8 PM
Kohl's:  8 PM
KMart:  6 AM Thanksgiving morning - just what is going on here?

And one more place we can't forget:  McDonald's, which used to have a closed on Thanksgiving Day policy until recently.  It used to start by being only open during breakfast hours; now it includes lunch and dinner like any other day.

Just what is going on here with Thanksgiving Day being thrown on the back burner by Corporate America wanting to make a quick buck?

Like I mentioned last year, here's my take on Corporate America being open on Thanksgiving Day for the sole purpose of making a quick buck, and it's well worth repeating here (in other words, I am going to say it again): 

1. Being a native born American citizen, I firmly and strongly believe in all the holidays that America celebrates, including Thanksgiving as well as Christmas. 

2. If Corporate America does not want to have anything to do with Thanksgiving, then have your corporate eons lobby Congress to repeal Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Believe me – it won’t happen; Thanksgiving is deeply rooted in tradition as an American national holiday to begin with, going back to the days when the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620 and earlier when Juan Ponce De Leon landed on the Florida east coast near St. Augustine in 1513.
3. Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays to be with family and friends. As such, I do not conduct any business on Thanksgiving as well as Christmas.  Besides, I was born and raised in an era where retailers were closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas (and we knew better to stock up on things before the holidays); unfortunately, today we live in an "I gotta have it right now" era - an era of instant gratification.
4. Finally, if the spirit of the American holidays – especially the fall holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas – offend you in any way, please consider leaving the United States of America and find another country where our American holidays are not celebrated, especially a country where human rights and civil liberties are grossly violated.

We cannot let Thanksgiving as well as Christmas become extinct, thanks to Corporate America that think these holidays are a nuisance. Thanksgiving and Christmas - along with America's other major holidays - are not a nuisance; instead our nation's holidays are part of our heritage.  Besides, you have a right to express your disapproval by not spending your hard earned money at retailers who intend to be open on Thanksgiving Day.

In short:  Let's take back Thanksgiving and what it really means to America.  The same thing with Christmas.

Onward with the holiday season!