Should people shop on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas? Likewise, should people who work in stores or non essential occupations have to work on these holidays?
Some people believe stores and restaurants should not be open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a nurse I know this is an impossible expectation. There are some valid reasons for stores and restaurants to remain open on major holidays. A friend of mine pointed some of them out to me with some mind boggling accurate and thoughtful reasons.
Bonuses for working extra
None of us want to work on Thanksgiving! Right? Wrong! Turns out that cashiers and other store workers get a bonus for working holidays. ($1.50/hour for an eight hour shift is $12.) That might not be much to some of us, but to others it may be enough to help them buy the toy their child has always wanted. And some small, local stores may need all the business they can get just to stay afloat.
Should only grocery stores be open?
For those of us who are preparing our holiday feast, only to suddenly realize we forgot an essential ingredient, it is a big help to have the grocery stores open right up until the last minute. So, okay, I concede that maybe grocery stores should have to stay open. But then, I wonder, when do those workers get to prepare their food for their own families? And is it really worth it to miss Thanksgiving for only nine bucks an hour? And then there are stores that carry everything else and groceries–should they be open? It can get pretty complicated, and we do live in a free, Capitalist country after all.
Not everyone celebrates
Then there are people who have no family nearby and would otherwise spend the day at home alone. They might find it comforting to be in a store to at least be around people or even be working.
And what about those who find holidays depressing? (There are more than most of us realize!) Having to work and being around people may be something that holds off the depression.
The interfaith inconvenience of closed stores
What about people of other faiths, or from other countries? They may not all celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many people prefer to celebrate their own holidays at their appointed times. This segment of the population would be pretty inconvenienced if all grocery stores and food chains closed on the holidays.
Some of us have to work!
Nurses (speaking from experience here), lab technicians, doctors, housekeeping staff, x-ray technicians, nurse technicians, security, dietary staff and more have to work every other Christmas.
I know with nurses we sign up to to determine which holidays of the five major ones we prefer to be off. The head nurse always tries to accommodate everyone, but there are always those who have to work when our families are home celebrating or the celebration is changed to another day. But, hey, people are sick during the holidays, too. Someone has to be there to care for them.
How do people cope with working holidays?
They cope with it the same way others do. They celebrate the actual holiday on a different day.
Isn’t the most important thing that a family spends time together? Who declared that a holiday has to be celebrated only on the assigned day?
There will always be holiday workers
Yes, some people would prefer to be off every holiday, but there are and always will be someone who will have to work on a holiday. Families have made their own holi”days” to share with their families based on the schedule they have been given. Let’s face it: We who run to the grocery stores for that forgotten item, really appreciate those stores being open to cover our mistakes, don’t we?
One thought on “To Shop or Not to Shop: The Boycotting of Holiday Shopping”
In my area we have several Starbucks coffee shop. Only one is open on Christmas until 2 p.m. and they ask for volunteers to staff it. Of course I go there for my fix. One year early on I told the barista that I was sorry she had to work. She said she volunteered and was grateful for the opportunity. Not only did she get a bonus but the tipping was fabulous. (I know! I gave a big guilt tip!) Since that experience I don’t judge. Some people who work get to join family later in the day and are lucky enough not to have to help with the prepping. Everyone figures it out. Move the holiday to the weekend or come later or earlier. If there is a will, there is a way. Good topic.
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