November 28, 2014

Why I Went Out Shopping on Thanksgiving

I’ve read a lot of articles and blog posts about why people shouldn’t shop on Thanksgiving. Mostly they talk about how Thanksgiving is a family holiday and not a shopping holiday. People should be sitting around the dining room table enjoying turkey and watching football. Enjoying quality time together.

Which is perfectly ok.  I love that people do that. I love the togetherness.

But not everyone does and I think it isn’t right for me to impose what I think the holiday should be like on those people.

The argument continues that the workers are not at home but instead they are forced to work. Except, do we know that they are all forced to work? Maybe some, even many, of them want to work because it means extra money for Christmas shopping. Maybe that same employee will be out the next day partaking in Black Friday.

One of the things that comes to mind when I hear the argument about people having to work on Thanksgiving instead of being home with their families is all the people who we depend on working that day and any and all other holidays all year long.

Emergency room doctors and nurses. Police can’t take days off (even if it makes a good movie). And if firefighters and paramedics took the day off what would we do when people make fried turkeys and burn themselves? Or someone breaks their leg during some flag football? I’m sure many doctors, nurses, fire fighters, police officers, etc etc would love to have the holidays off, too. But they can’t.

What about the UPS/FedEx drivers that work on holidays to make sure that we all get those presents that we bought the day before Thanksgiving? They work on Christmas Eve to get you those presents on time. Should we give them the day off?

Not to mention grocery stores. They are typically open for at least a few hours on Thanksgiving.

My parents were going to be alone this Thanksgiving and didn't want to cook. So we went to dinner last night. My family is grateful they were open to feed us some dinner.

Sometimes people have to work on days they don’t want to work. It happens. But if they are working they are making money, they aren’t doing it for free.


  1. I had to work yesterday and we had no option. We couldn't even request off. I wanted to go back to Tennessee to se family and couldn't.
    A lot of what you said is true but some people had no choice.
    A lot of people came into the store yesterday and said they couldn't believe we were open yesterday but what they fail to see is that we're open obviously because they come in. If they wouldn't come in we'd have no reason to be open.

  2. Thank you for this! It's the first blog I've seen acknowledging that it's maybe not so bad to shop or work on Thanksgiving. I've also seen tons of others talking about how wrong it is, and I'm just not sure I agree. I used to work at our local newspaper, and we always had to work on holidays. News doesn't stop just because it's a holiday. It's just how it is. And before that, in college when I worked retail, I never minded working on a holiday because my family was too far away to see, and I just had nothing better to do. It would have been spending a holiday totally alone or goign to work and getting paid time and half, so obviously I chose to work. Our store did give some the day off, so I empathize with someone who had no choice but to work when they would have been with family otherwise, but like you said, we shouldn't assume that every employee is being forced to be there.

  3. I am not against shopping on Thanksgiving either. My husband has had to work MANY a holiday. It's just life.

  4. I've shopped on Thanksgiving many times in the past and never felt bad about it. This year everyone seems to be talking about it. I don't know, I went to Breuggers Bagels Thanksgiving morning and no one was terribly sad to be working there.

  5. I'm with Amanda on this. Life doesn't stop just because there is a Holiday.