Shopping on Thanksgiving Day a growing trend but family time still precious

November 27, 2013 

Do parents impress upon their children the importance of Thanksgiving Day anymore? While sitting around a table piled high with delectable abundance, recounting the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by Pilgrims after their first harvest in 1621 at Plymouth Plantation, a three-day feast attended by the 53 colonialists and 90 Native Americans -- with prayers thanking the Almighty for blessings.

Those Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn and gave them food during the colony's first winter as their supplies proved inadequate. The Pilgrims had much to be thankful for after their first harvest -- including their very survival thanks to their newfound friends.

Then, too, in this day and age do families still say grace for their own family's blessings?

We wonder about this in light of the new commercialization of this family holiday.

Retailers are opening their doors for big sales on Thanksgiving. Executives at several giant retailers cited consumer demand to shop on Thanksgiving. That's true to a certain degree.

You'd think nobody could wait the few hours until Black Friday, but 33 million people are expected to shop on Thursday.

Last year, Thanksgiving rang up $800 million in sales, but that's peanuts compared with the $11 billion spent on Black Friday. This year, more and more retailers are rushing into the holiday fray -- with some even opening early in the morning.

In the Oscar-winning movie "Miracle on 34th Street," Kris Kringle sends Macy's customers to another department store to find sought-after gifts that were sold out at Macy's.

Initially shocked, R.H. Macy came around to the idea after the public responded in large numbers with grateful messages and vows to shop at his department store.

So R.H. Macy adopted the policy, stating: "We'll be known as the helpful store ... the friendly store, the store with a heart ... the store that places public service ahead of profits."

Then he said: "And, consequently, we'll make more profits than ever before."

We are a capitalist society with consumerism driving the economy. Shopping on Thanksgiving does serve a certain part of society, so maybe Mr. Macy was correct about more profits.

Still, we hope most of Thanksgiving Day remains a hallowed holiday for families.

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