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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Black Friday Starts on Thursday: Please Don't Do It!

I was in one of the dollar stores in town the other day and saw a sign saying they'd be closed on Thanksgiving. Good thing I said to the cashier. She agreed. She'll be home celebrating Thanksgiving with her family. But this morning when I turned on my computer I started getting all the alerts in my email box. J.C. Penney: Black Friday starts Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Joining Penney's is a long list: Macy's, Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Kohls, Old Navy, Dollar General, etc. ad nauseum.

Good grief, can't they close one or two days during the year? It makes me long for the old "blue laws" that required stores to close on Sundays. But that was in the days we were really a Christian country. Now the publicans rule and the Almighty dollar has replaced Almighty God for many. Thank God there are many stores closing for the day: Costco, Barnes and Noble, Bloomingdales, IKEA, Home Depot, JoAnn's, etc. I wish it were all of them except those absolutely necessary like pharmacies and gas stations.

PLEASE! Don't shop on Thanksgiving or Sunday or Christmas. If nobody shopped the stores wouldn't stay open and the employees could have a day off to pray and celebrate with their families. I'm going to Mass on Thanksgiving and then coming home to prep the turkey and play games with my family and cuddle the littlest grandchildren. I'll poke my head out the front door to check on the family football game and let the little ones help me fill the bird feeders. I'll hear all about what's happening at school and what everybody's been up to since I last saw them. The last thing I'll be thinking about is heading to the mall. Yes, I know Thanksgiving today is primarily a secular holiday, but can't we sanctify it? The original Thanksgiving found the pilgrims gathering to thank God for a bountiful harvest. Should Catholics be any less grateful for the abundant gifts God has given us?

Remember the ten lepers. Only one came back to say thank you. Will you be out thanking the shops for staying open on Thanksgiving Day to give homage to the Almighty Dollar or will you go to Mass and then stay home and give thanks to God with your family like the one grateful leper who returned to bend his knee at the foot of Jesus Christ?