Last updated: November 07. 2013 10:45PM - 744 Views
By - eparnell@civitasmedia.com



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‘Tis the holiday season, full of warm fuzzy feelings, time spent with family, and truly realizing how much we all have to be thankful for … or is it? Only into the first weeks of November and my news feed on Facebook is full of pictures of Christmas decorations. Whether inside or outdoors, friends are already “decking the halls,” but have they forgotten another, equally as important holiday? What happened to Thanksgiving?


The examiner.com recently published a list of stores that have announced they would be open on Thanksgiving Day. Some of the stores included CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Toys-R-Us, Belk. K-mart has also decided they will be open 41 hours straight beginning at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving.


Some local stores began putting out Christmas and holiday decorations long before the end of October, not even waiting until after Halloween.


What do these things say about our society and how we view such a holiday as Thanksgiving? “Black Friday,” as it is often called, will now begin a day early, which makes me wonder how long it will be before such sales begin even earlier than our Thanksgiving holiday.


In an article written by Bill Chappell, found at npr.org, he says that many are outraged by K-mart’s big announcement to open so early. I can’t say that I blame them. If it’s anything I’ve been reminded of recently it’s how important time with your family actually is.


Also in that same article, it says that in responding to the negative feedback, Kmart says that it will try to staff its stores with seasonal workers to accommodate employees who want to be with friends and relatives. Although that may sound nice, does being open on Thanksgiving morning not tempt your store’s employees to work simply because they feel they cannot resist the overtime pay? Do your seasonal workers not also need time to spend with friends and relatives?


I’m guilty of loving to shop the Black Friday deals as much as the next girl, but I also wouldn’t trade spending my Thanksgiving Day with family and friends for any type of shopping thrill. Holiday shoppers hoping to get the best deals on Christmas gifts for their loved ones can usually be found days in advance in lengthy lines leading up to sales such as those at Best Buy or other tech-savvy stores, missing time they could be spending with their loved ones.


Before we rush off on Thanksgiving Day, let’s take a minute to think about something. Is the $100 or whatever you will save on the newest iPad or electronic gadget really worth more than spending time with those in your life that you’re thankful for? Is that not what Thanksgiving should be about?


Elyssa Parnell is a staff writer for The Newberry Observer and can be reached at eparnell@civitasmedia.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.


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