Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving & Retail, Part 2

Thanksgiving Shopping

So, what is to be done?

Most importantly, let’s stop shopping on Thanksgiving!  Don’t feed the beast!  If anyone I know felt the need to run to a store on Thanksgiving for something they might be purchasing for me, I would rather they didn’t buy anything for me! 

While we’re at it, stop patronizing businesses on Christmas!  And any other national holiday, for that matter. 

[Don’t get me started on the whole Sunday thing.  I read a lot of books – and blogs – about Americans’ adventures of living in Europe.  Even people who are not specifically religious grow to appreciate the slower pace of life in general, on Sundays in particular.  Nothing raises my hackles more than when I read about European retailers (and even workers!) who rebel against the Sunday trade bans.  I know the bans no longer seem applicable to a secular society, but remember the rallying cry that “even atheists need a day off!” I’m no economist, but I think our own country’s economy was doing better in the previous century when we were still closing businesses on Sundays than it is now, when we are running on all cylinders 24/7/365.  I digress.]

Where I spend or donate my money is an important issue to me.  I intend to be ever more intentional in my shopping habits in the coming weeks.  Retailers are always doing their best to thwart me from wanting to be their customer.  I do shop at Target and Kohl’s, but I am not happy with their decision to open on Thanksgiving.  If I have a child requesting an item from one of those stores, I’ll buy a gift card and encourage them to use it after the holidays, so we are not contributing to their holiday bottom line.

As far as Christmas gifts go, I plan to support local businesses as much as possible.  If I need something that cannot be obtained at one of those stores, I am sure my needs can be met at Sunday- and holiday-closing Hobby Lobby.  (Nordstrom and Costco, who are bucking the Thanksgiving trend, are kind of far for me, so I’m not sure how to support them.)  One could argue, perhaps even successfully, that it’s kinder to spend money on the local Target than purchasing online . . .  but I’m sure I’ll be supporting online businesses.

My fantasy would be to avoid purchasing anything and instead to swoop the family away to some secluded location for the holidays.  (Some place with a kitchen, of course, so as not to expect anyone to open restaurants on holidays.)  However, we aren’t overly effusive in our gift-giving anyway, so spiriting people off somewhere for some R & R in lieu of gift giving would not be a trade-off but an expensive venture.

I don't want to sound ungrateful for those who give gifts to me.  Thanks to my family's thoughtfulness at Christmas and on my birthday,  I am able to own books I will read multiple times, I am able to expand my garden, and I am able to buy new clothes.  I'd just rather go without things, if it meant that getting gifts caused my loved ones to feel they had to hit the stores on national holidays.

I’m rambling now.  I don’t feel I’ve answered my objections to the Thanksgiving retail bonanza in a satisfactory way.  Maybe I should cut out all the words after:

Let’s stop shopping on Thanksgiving!  Don’t feed the beast! 

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