Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, “Are these the shadows of things that will be, or are they shadows of things that maybe?” I am an unapologetic free market capitalist (mostly). But the third spirit of Christmas haunts me with his vision. I see five years from now, maybe one year from now, retail stores open at 5am on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day for the whole day. If we MUST have rock bottom deals on Thanksgiving Day at 8pm this year, why shouldn’t we have them earlier? If we can’t resist aggressive discounts for the sake of spending one entire day out of the year with our loved ones, let us please not make that decision for the employees of the stores. Many of them are single mothers. Others are grandparents who couldn’t fully retire, and students who (in such case) might not be able to come home for the holiday. Think of someone who you loved and lost. What would you give to spend a few more hours with them? Anything? Not the early bird savings on an Amazon Kindle Fire? This is the transaction we make. But we make it for someone else. If there is a profit to be made, it will be. Sam Walton is not Ebeneezer Scrooge. He haunts us as the cloaked deathly skeleton of Christmas Future. We, the consumer, are Scrooge. It is we who will decide if Bob Cratchit spends his Thanksgiving folding thermals at the Gap, or in a food coma next to Tiny Tim on the living room sofa.
“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me.”
Please ask your friends and family members to abstain from shopping on Thanksgiving Day.