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What’s The Rush?

Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is about three weeks away. No, I do not skip over Thanksgiving and head straight into Christmas. No sir, I like Thanksgiving too much to jump right into Advent.

In my opinion Thanksgiving is one of the least stressful of the seasonal holidays. That is unless you are the one doing the cooking because mostly the day is all about food, family gatherings, watching football on TV and more food.

The holiday can be as laid back or as formal as your family desires. The meal can be traditional turkey and all the fixings or a barrel of Kentucky Fried Chicken and instant mac and cheese. There are no real set rules in place concerning what you eat that day. It’s more about being around others who enjoy a meal with family or strangers at the local soup kitchen. Again, it’s a personal choice.

When I read the news that many major retailers and restaurants have elected to close on Thanksgiving Day, I was happy. In years past, many stores would open after supper on turkey day and remain open overnight and into the early hours of the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Stores would offer promotions starting on Thanksgiving night in order to entice shoppers off the couch and into dark parking lots for a night of shopping for the most sought-after gift items.

I always felt bad for the clerks who had to leave their homes and go to work to serve the late-night or early morning shoppers. Only one time can I remember going to Hills Department Store at 6 a.m. on Black Friday to be first in line for some toy our son wanted that year. I had to be at work by 8 a.m. so I made the effort to get to Hills early as did several hundred other shoppers.

What I witnessed — it wasn’t pretty — convinced me that it was the first and last time I would be a part of that shopping experience.

I had to practically fight another woman for the Ninja Turtle action figure I was seeking that morning. I saw people shoving one another, jumping over tables and screaming at clerks when they could not find the items they wanted.

It convinced me that there had to be a better way. And now many companies are keeping Thanksgiving just what it should be — a holiday. Perhaps the lack of adequate workers is playing into this decision.

Or has online shopping negated the need to pay overtime to in-store employees on a holiday? I’m not really sure.

I know there are people who enjoy the thrill of being first in line when the stores open and then racing inside to obtain those blue light specials; more power to them.

On Thanksgiving Day, I’d rather sit back after the dishes are done, and enjoy the holiday newspaper, circling the ads for another day’s shopping. Maybe I’ll see you on Black Friday — just not too early.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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