Letters for 11-26-2015

It’s about family and friends, not retail sales
Quickly now: Name a national
holiday that hasn’t been taken over by
brash commercialization.
Time’s up. This is it.
Thanksgiving Day is supposed to be
about family and friends. Though some
choose to, you don’t have to decorate
the house. There are no gifts. The only
pressure that’s present in the holiday is
on those who work, in many instances
for days in advance, to prepare the
sumptuous meal we’ll enjoy. All that’s
required is food and affection.
Over the years, Thanksgiving became
Black Friday Eve, the beginning of the
big Christmas retail push. Most of us
have stories to tell about getting up
at 1:30 a.m. to be in line at 4 a.m. to
get some great deal or a meaningless
trinket. It became part of the Christmas
As an aside: You will NEVER see
December 25 referred to as anything
other than Christmas in anything written
or designed by The Gazette. Some of
our local businesses are franchises of
corporations that might require they use
the phrase “holiday season,” and some
of our national advertisers will use it as
well. But we won’t. And that’s a promise.
In recent years, however, the line that
was Black Friday has become blurred.
Large retailers started just a few years
ago actually opening on Thanksgiving
Day. It was refreshing to see when many
department stores and chain stores
opted out of opening on Thanksgiving.
In some instances, they were required
to pay fines to the malls from which
they lease space, but took it on the
chin, figuring fines were worth allowing
employees the chance to spend time
with their families. Though we’re blessed
to have boutique stores on the square
as opposed to retail outlets that cover
acres, there are more than a few folks
living in Union Parish who work retail in
Monroe or Ruston. For many of them,
Thanksgiving will be cut short if they’re
able to enjoy it at all.
There are grass-roots movements
to stop the malls and large retailers
from requiring stores to be open. The
movement also promotes the concept
of consumers giving the gift of family
to these employees and not shop on
Keep Thanksgiving’s traditions of
family, friends and food and postpone
the insanity of what has become the
commercialism of the season – even for
just one day.