The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 24, 2013

Brown Thursday? It’s Thanksgiving!

The News Courier

— Well, they’ve gone too far.

We’ve got the long-standing Black Friday and its ensuing mayhem.

You know, the day after we give thanks for our blessings and what we have.

Then, millions of us go out to get more — at any cost (or discount).

That’s followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Small Business Saturday, in just its third year, is a worthy day set aside to remember the small businesses and Mom-and-Pop shops that make up the fabric of our shopping society.

Here in Athens and Limestone County, small businesses are the backbone and the heart of our economy. And we must remember that.

They are our neighbors, our families, our friends who have sacrificed time, energy and money to pursue a dream.

Supporting them, supports us with the money staying home to invest here instead of being sent to a corporate office.

Cyber Monday is the day that online retailers push their special prices, much of the time at the cost of the local brick-and-mortar small stores.

Now, preceding all this is Brown Thursday.

You know, the holiday formerly known as Thanksgiving.

It’s relatively new but has spawned its share of controversy.

Millions of people say they will not shop at stores that are open Thanksgiving. 

A couple years ago, Sears experimented with opening on Thanksgiving.

Then there was an uproar from customers and employees.

The next year, it was closed for the holiday.

One of the standard-bearers of corporate America got it right — after getting it in the pocketbook.

Thanksgiving is family get-togethers. Sharing a meal and fellowship.

And being thankful.

It shouldn’t be camping out at a store to get the latest high-tech gizmo.

It shouldn’t be making employees come in to make sure the latest high-tech gizmo — with the new whistles and bells — is on the shelf waiting for the campout customer.

It should be for pausing to give thanks.

A respite in a society filled with stress.

Brown Thursday?

“Bah humbug!”

Budd McLaughlin is managing editor of The News Courier.