In my opinion

Thanksgiving is for family and friends, not for shopping


I won’t. Never will either, and you have my word printed here in black and white. I don’t care how enticing a discount, how wonderful the product, I will not shop on Thanksgiving. Ever.

Enough is enough. Leave Turkey Day alone. Keep it free of the endless barrage to buy, buy, buy; to own, own, own. That’s why we have Black Friday — and every other day of the year, for that matter.

Thanksgiving is for family. For kissing new babies. For catching up with cousins. For trading recipes with in-laws. For football on TV and massive cleanup in the kitchen. For unbuttoning your pants to fit in that last piece of pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving is not for trolling the mall.

In case you haven’t heard, Macy’s — famous for its Thanksgiving Day parade — is buckling to the worst in our culture. For the first time in its 155 storied years, it will join a handful of other retail giants by opening at 8 on the night we should be relaxing with Baby Claire and Abuela Maria.

Though I love the value of their Charter Club and Style & Co. lines and am on perennial patrol for Cable & Gauge deals, you won’t find me at the Macy’s store five minutes from home that day. There is nothing, not a single, spectacular item that comes close in value to the time I can spend with the people I love most. Besides, who will scrub the green bean casserole pan squeaky clean?

Kohl’s and JC Penney also will be competing with the mashed potatoes and the stuffing. In fact, Kohl’s will be open for 28 hours straight, beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday. The company’s chief customer officer said they were flinging their doors open “as a convenience to our customers who want to make Kohl’s their first stop.”

If you’re one of those customers who must, absolutely must, run out to buy that special Apt. 9 sweater when you should really be at home with your family, do yourself a favor: Get your head checked. Your priorities are messed up.

Unfortunately, the list of Open-for-Thanksgiving retailers is growing. Just this week Sears and Kmart announced they were keeping the lights on — Kmart for 41 hours straight, starting at 6 a.m., about the time the turkey’s ready for the oven. Walmart has been open on T-Day for at least four years.

Shame, shame.

Consumerism, that unbridled desire for more of whatever we can store in our closets and pack into our drawers, has become our default pastime. We’re addicted to acquiring, obsessed with objects, and the cost of this misplaced passion has proven steep — and it’s not just in credit card debt, either. The wall between the sacred and the profitable is crumbling, and we have no one to blame but ourselves, our gluttony. After all, the antidote to this affliction is simple, especially on this one holiday.

It’s bad enough that we’ve commercialized Christmas, but must we also tarnish the one day that encourages gratefulness by piling on yet more to our bounty?

I don’t blame retailers. They’re in the business of selling, of making a buck. Some have surrendered because of competition, incurring the wrath of their employees who must abandon their families to man our society’s new god, the cash register.

Truth is, stores wouldn’t open if customers didn’t show up. But they do, and they shop: Trying in vain to fill themselves with all that is empty, all that matters not.

Read more Ana Veciana Suarez stories from the Miami Herald

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