Where Pilgrims Landed, Thanksgiving Is Kept at Table, Not Mall
|FLOAT TITLE: "America is still the land of plenty."|
PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Here in the birthplace of Thanksgiving, where the Pilgrims first gave thanks in 1621 for their harvest and their survival, some residents are giving thanks this year for something else: the Colonial-era blue laws that prevent retailers from opening their doors on the fourth Thursday of November.....
Some of the nation’s biggest retailers — Sears, Target and Toys “R” Us among them — announced this month that they would be moving up their predawn Black Friday door-buster sales to Thanksgiving Day or moving up their existing Thanksgiving sales even earlier on Thursday. Walmart, which has already been open on Thanksgiving for many years, is advancing its bargain specials to 8 p.m. Thursday from 10 p.m. But in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the stores will sit dark until the wee hours of Friday. Even Walmart will not open in Maine until just after midnight Friday or in Massachusetts or Rhode Island until 1 a.m.
Nationwide, a protest is developing against Thanksgiving Day sales. Workers at some stores have threatened to strike, saying the holiday openings were disrupting their family time. Online petitions have drawn hundreds of thousands of signatures protesting the move. The stores say that many of their workers have volunteered to work on the holiday, when they will get extra pay, and that consumers wanted to shop early. It is not yet clear what effect the protests might have.....
“Leave the holidays alone,” said Carole A. Maiona, 72, a retired medical records worker, as her husband wheeled a shopping cart out of the store the other day. “The family should be together and not out shopping and supplying Walmart or whoever with more money.”
William Lorenzo, 35, who serves in the Coast Guard, said Thanksgiving sales were unfair to employees. “It’s not very American to make these people work on a holiday,” he said, packing his groceries into his van. His wife, Nicole, 33, agreed — to a point. She confessed that she went shopping last year at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. “I don’t go just to go,” she said. “But if I can get a better deal — we’re a family of five, one income — if I can get a deal, I’ll get the deal.”