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Keeping Thanksgiving Sacred

With stores opening earlier and earlier each year, cutting into treasured family time especially for retail workers, stores should consider opening later.

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Ah, Black Friday — killer deals, long lines, people awake way before daylight on a holiday.

Black Friday has long been a tradition in my family.

For us, it meant staying up to attend midnight madness in Branson.

I love this tradition with my family, not just for the deals but also for the camaraderie it brings.

Each year, however, stores open earlier and earlier, so it diminishes this time-honored tradition.

For Black Friday 2014, Target and Walmart opened at 6 p.m. on Thursday and Best Buy opened at 5 p.m.

These stores are just the tip of the iceberg.

Many other stores, including Kohl’s, Sears and JCPenney, opened at dinner time on Thursday.

For employees relying on hourly wages, there is not much of a choice. Their families have to either rearrange their Thanksgiving plans or the retail worker risks missing family time.

Why do stores have this right to cut into employees’ treasured time with family and friends?

In most other industries outside of retail and the food industry, employees at least have Thanksgiving day off.

Why should pay grade matter to this basic human right to enjoy relationships?

If stores moved their opening hours to midnight Friday morning, it would accomplish two surprising advantages.

Retail workers would be more rested, satisfied and energetic knowing that they were able to enjoy good food and fellowship.

Secondly, stores could use these later hours as a marketing ploy, showing human interest in their employees and building anticipation for the store opening.

Black Friday has been considered the start of the Christmas shopping season since the early 2000s.

In the first few years of Black Friday stores opened at 6 a.m. Friday morning.

Each year those times tip-toed into the wee hours of the morning.

In 2011, several big chain stores such as Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Best Buy made the bold decision to open at midnight.

In our fast-paced world of conversations under 140 characters, genuine relationships with family and friends are so important.

I hope you took some time to count your blessings this Thanksgiving and amidst the hustle and bustle considered the lives of those working behind the counter.

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Chelsea Gammon

Chelsea Gammon

Chelsea Gammon is a staff writer and editor for MBU Timeline. She is a senior double majoring in Journalism and Public Relations. Chelsea works part-time in the Special Events office on campus. In the spring she will be a public relations assistant for MBU’s University Communications Department. She previously enjoyed working with Timeline Broadcast. After graduation, Gammon plans to explore many opportunities and make a difference wherever she goes.

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