The Times West Virginian

November 21, 2012

Make time to enjoy Thanksgiving along with the opening of Christmas shopping

Times West Virginian

— We gather together to give thanks for the bounty at our table and all of the blessings in our lives once a year.

Truthfully, we should do it more than once a year. But on Thanksgiving, the country pauses just a little to allow us to spend time reflecting on our thankfulness and, more importantly, to spend time with our families. We thank God for all that is good in our lives, eat a little turkey, watch a little football and share memories and laughter with loved ones.

But the window of the Thanksgiving holiday closes a little more every year. It seems like before we have the opportunity to sit down and pass the mashed potatoes, Christmas is in our faces ... or at least Christmas shopping.

Black Friday, appropriately named because of the tradition of businesses making a profit for the calendar year as people check items off their Christmas lists, keeps encroaching on the holiday. In fact, many major retailers are now offering Thanksgiving Day specials and sales. So before we have time to be thankful for what we have, it seems as if commercials and email blasts are tempting us to fill our carts with even more to be thankful for.

Make no mistake. We know how important not only Black Friday but the entire shopping season is to the local and national economy. It provides jobs, both seasonal and sustainable. Those paychecks go to purchase goods and services in local economies, and the cycle continues.

It’s not that we are against shopping or spending money on sales. It’s that we regret the loss of an important holiday in favor of shopping.

We would just hope first that shoppers would resist the temptation to leave their homes on the holiday and instead focus on being thankful and spending time with their families.

And secondly, we would hope that local dollars would be invested locally. The scenario of jobs being sustained and paychecks being spent on goods and services continuing the cycle is a lot more effective for our local economy if those dollars are spent here at locally owned businesses.

We hope all have a very happy Thanksgiving and then wake up Christmas morning to find everything they wished for under the tree. But we would hope that we’re allowed a little time between the two.