I used to be one of those people who would grumble about stores being open on major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Due to some personal experiences in recent years, I’ve changed my view on the matter.
Reasons I think it’s okay for stores to be open on holidays:
Not everybody celebrates Thanksgiving and Christmas
As much as many of us would like to mandate that all Americans recognize these holidays as days to spend at home with family, it’s just not practical for everyone. One year, on the day before Thanksgiving, I told the one woman working at the checkout stand of our local supermarket that I hope she has Thanksgiving off. She informed me that she will be working the holiday, then quickly assured me she’s okay with it because she’s in the U.S. on a study visa and it’s not a holiday she’s used to celebrating. And since none of her family is in the United States, she wouldn’t be able to celebrate it with them any way.
People celebrate in different ways
Given how diverse and mobile our society is these days, it’s more common than ever for family members to converge in one location from around the country in order to celebrate. In 2015, my family of four drove 13-plus hours from Phoenix to San Antonio to attend a reunion dinner planned for Thanksgiving day. We arrived at our hotel at 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Were it not for a local grocery chain being open that day, there is no way my family, or some of the others, would have been able to bring anything for dinner.
Some people enjoy working on the holidays
Believe it or not, there are people who actually enjoy working on holidays; especially when they can earn 1½ to 2 times their normal pay. I know several people who count on holiday pay so they can survive the holidays financially. For others, it’s not so much about the money; they’d just rather be around people than sitting home alone dwelling on the fact that they have nobody to celebrate the holiday with. This was definitely the case for the woman I mentioned earlier.
I once thought it was not okay for stores to be open on Thanksgiving or Christmas. That all changed the year my young daughter had a painful ear infection on Christmas morning. Were it not for the commitment of a cheerful staff of the local Walgreen’s choosing to be at work that day, the outcome of our holiday might have quite miserable.
Unless I hear of people being forced to work on a holiday or face consequences, I will continue to support the right of businesses to open their doors on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
What are your thoughts on the topic?
Let’s hear your perspective. Tell us what you think in the comments box.