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Holiday hours

Many of you are undoubtedly planning to take advantage of Black Friday.

Whereas the day after Thanksgiving was once a day to recover from the previous day’s feast, it has evolved into a barometer for the upcoming holiday shopping season. Thus it is a day where chain retailers pull out the stops by not only holding sales but extending their hours, including opening the doors as the clock strikes midnight.

Some of those retail giants have even decided that opening at the earliest moment on Friday isn’t enough, figuring that there’s enough built-up shopping urges to warrant opening the night of the holiday, not long after that last bite of pie. Walmart, for example, has decided that 8 p.m. is the proper time to get started. The discount department store behemoth isn’t alone in crossing the date line either.

Although opening on Thursday is in our eyes an unnecessary intrusion on this particular holiday, the question here is who should protests be aimed at, the retailers or the consumers?

We’d argue the latter.

Sure, retailers are concerned here with the bottom line and love to see the crowds inside the stores, stock flying off the shelves and the cash register filling up. But they are responding to a willingness of people to get off the couch or chair, get into the car and head off to shop on a holiday evening.

If the retailers didn’t believe that they’d get the people into the stores and spending money, then they wouldn’t be opening on Thanksgiving evening.

We do think it’s the creeping of a trend that turns many of our holidays into just another day, where people lose sight of the significance of the tradition.

Thanksgiving has been one of those holidays where many Americans off for the day get a chance to spend it with family and friends — though let’s not forget many men and women already work the holiday, so that part of the opening early argument isn’t what protests should be built around.

Instead, the argument should be about running over of one of this country’s most traditional and non-commercialized holidays. It’s up to shoppers to decide that the sales and bargains can wait just a few hours or even a day as Small Business Saturday, the event designed to give small, independent local retailers a boost, is Saturday.

Stores will open on Thanksgiving if shoppers come and they’ll stay closed on the holiday if they don’t.

The choice is yours.

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