Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Walmart Opening Early on Thanksgiving is Anti-family

My Dad spent his life working in retail. For many years with Sears and then for TJ Maxx.  He put his three kids through college, provided a home, and food to eat with his job. He taught me that it was honorable work. My Dad for the most part liked his job and he was good at it. When I heard that Wal-Mart was opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving I thought of my dad and what that would have meant for our family. It would have meant less time together on Thanksgiving. We still would have eaten. We would have made arrangements to eat earlier. But for us Thanksgiving was an all day family event. We got up and watched the parade, and then my sisters and I would plan a play to be put on for the adults at dinner. Later in the day other family would arrive. We would spend a couple of hours simply sitting in our living room talking to each other and catching up. Then we would have eaten, after dinner I would have watched football with my dad and some of the other guys.
We could have skipped parts of this ritual, but all these years later I still enjoy the day of leisurely visiting with family, eating, watching football, and giving thanks. Walmart has robbed families of that ability to not rush, to take our time and simply enjoy being together. When in our culture do we have such time? I have no problem with shopping, or Christmas, or companies that want to make money. I do have a problem when those companies do not take into consideration the importance of families having time together. I have a problem when companies decide that being open a couple of more hours is more important than their employees having time to sit and watch some football with their kids.
I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday (it is a close tie with Easter) because it is about a very simple idea that we should take time out of year to give thanks to God for all that we have. We do that by slowing down for a day. We do that by paying a little closer attention to those we love. I pray that those who run Walmart (Michael Duke, CEO) would want that same thing for their employees, and for all families in this great country. I am thankful this year for all those memories I have of spending time on Thanksgiving with my family and I wish that for all the employees families at Walmart.
Happy Thanksgiving

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