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  /  Opinion   /  Commercialization of Thanksgiving

Commercialization of Thanksgiving

For many, Thanksgiving is a time honored tradition in America. People are always ready to sit down with their family and enjoy a special meal with their loved ones. Children are ready to play endless hours of video games or to play sports endlessly outside, like football. Parents and adults are ready to have a few days off from work, and of course, the kids are ready to have days off from school.

But, more and more every year, stores are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day for Black Friday sales. Of course, people do want to get those deals on the newest release of the iPhone XR, the newest game in the Black Ops franchise, or anything else in the hollowed halls of their local Walmart, but that doesn’t mean people should be having to go to stores on Thanksgiving! Also, many of the cashiers and staff for these stores have to give up time that they should be spending with their family and friends working the entire day from 3pm straight into the night. While some enjoy shopping this early and are entitled to their prerogative, most people want to spend it with their loved ones. If someone told you to do homework on Thanksgiving instead of spending it with your family, I’m not so sure you would be appreciative of that.

But don’t take it from me, take it from the those who work on Thanksgiving.

Brenda Bracey, a grocery store worker in Largo, Florida said that “This is the first Thanksgiving [2017] in 23 years that I have not worked at least an eight-hour shift” (NPR). Also, according to NBC News, “Low-wage laborers in stores and restaurants are most likely to be serving you on your day off” (NBC), and companies with 1,000 workers or more are “are…four times more likely than small businesses to make some workers work on Thanksgiving” (ibid). The numbers don’t lie: according to the same NBC article “roughly half of the workers in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors are working on Thanksgiving.”.

We need to stop forcing low-income citizens to work for long shifts on Thanksgiving just to fill the greedy pockets of a CEO. It’s time to show a little kindness and to revive the American Thanksgiving tradition we knew not too long ago.

Antonio “Tony” Mota is currently a sophomore in the Packer Collegiate Institute and a reporter for the Packer Prism. Although he wasn’t on the staff last year, he has written for the Prism before and is excited to continue contributing and expressing himself. In his free time, you can find him hanging out with his friends, playing video games, browsing Reddit memes, or watching Netflix. A fun fact about Tony is that he achieved second place in the MarioKart tournament last year. Tony can be reached at anmota@packer.edu.

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