Some upset over early holiday shopping

by Wes Mayer

Although many Cowetans embraced the idea of getting an extra day’s head start on their holiday shopping, there were more than a few who didn’t care for shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

“I feel for all the families that didn’t get to celebrate Thanksgiving because a loved one had to work,” said Judy Warner, a Newnan resident. “I believe that we should have had the traditional Black Friday as always and leave Thanksgiving for family, food and football. Stores will always be open, but family members can slip away from us in a heartbeat.”

This year, many stores decided to open their doors on Thursday night. Usually Black Friday begins in the early morning hours of Friday, but for years, the opening hours have been jumping earlier and earlier. Now, stores are opening when many families should be sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner.

“I think it is a terrible idea,” said Amy McCoy Dees who serves on the Coweta County Board of Education. “I am a proud Black Friday veteran shopper, but opening stores on Thanksgiving takes the fun out of coupon clipping and sales searching with family after dinner. Instead of quality time with the family, everyone rushes out to their cars. Not a fan. Open stores at 4 a.m. Friday. Reserve Thursday for the turkey.”

Some feel the stores opening earlier takes away from the holiday spirit, but for others, the real issue is that employees of these store are losing one of the biggest holidays of the year.

“Thanksgiving is one of the only holidays that retail workers receive,” said Mike Lux, president of American Family Voices. “By opening stores on Thanksgiving, stores rob thousands of men and women of the opportunity to spend time with their families. A holiday with family should not be a luxury for the rich — we believe that all workers deserve the chance to relax and give thanks with loved ones.”

Outraged over the new shopping hours, Lux and his organization began a petition in Washington D.C. to fight them. The petition is set up on the MoveOn.org petitions website, and more than 133,000 people have signed their name.

“We, as consumers, have the power to tell stores not to open on Thanksgiving by staying home,” Lux said in the petition. “We hereby pledge not to shop on Thanksgiving Day, to show the retail industry that everyone deserves a holiday.”

For some residents, when the retail stores open their doors on Thanksgiving, they are hurting family traditions. Many consumers then look at these stores like they’re villains.

“I have a loved one that had to work it, instead of being able to spend time with family,” said Michelle Foster, a Grantville resident. “Just goes to show how money hungry the retail industry people are, as if they need anymore.”

“I appreciate the stores that stuck to their tradition and didn't open until Friday,” said Josh Hickman, a U.S. Navy chaplain from Coweta County. “Some of them ran commercials reminding people to spend Thanksgiving with their families.”



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