Letter: Is consumerism going to cause destruction of our holidays?

Multiple nationwide stores are experimenting this year with “Black Thursday,” starting the shopping season Thanksgiving Day. This means employees at those stores will not be able to spend Thanksgiving with their families; they’ll be at work.

All the press talks about is whether people want to shop on Thanksgiving. Well, does anyone want to work on Thanksgiving?

The stores justify “Black Thursday” by saying increased hours mean more people will shop, helping the “struggling economy.” I think retail workers know a lot more about the struggling economy than retail stores. It’s unlikely “more” people will shop Thursday that wouldn’t have shopped Friday — this isn’t about the struggling economy, it’s about market share. When you’re open, and others aren’t, you make money. This has resulted in “Black Friday” hours creeping earlier and earlier for years, last year opening at midnight. The only way to open earlier than midnight is to open on Thanksgiving.

My question is, if holidays are about families, how can Christmas justify making people work on Thanksgiving? Has consumerism destroyed both holidays?

— Sara Taylor