I can't tell you how many versions of "Don't Shop at ...." I see during this time of year. Stores are labeled pro or against Christmas, like in the recently published AFA Naughty or Nice list.
People put up snotty status memes like this one:
Or this one is even better...
Makes me want to remind them about the holi-day our Lord, a practicing Jew, celebrated during this time of year---Hanukkah. Heard of it? Besides the fact that it makes sense for a business to buy a Happy Holidays banner that will suffice from Nov. 1-Jan. 2, this arrogant point of view also shows off your ignorance, since Christmas was a man-made holiday that came way after Jesus. I don't think he really cares one way or another if or how we celebrate it. (Yes, I celebrate. No, I don't want to have this discussion.)
But the thing that just makes me want to smack y'all upside the head is when you tell me you're going to actually boycott a store because it's open on Thanksgiving or Christmas. Are you kidding me?
"Oh, but those poor single moms should be home with their poor kids who have to be in school all week long and they should at least get Christmas together, for crying out loud!"
Really? No, actually it's called, doing what you have to do. Or, more plainly, having character and integrity.
Ok, so I'm sure there are tons of people, who work for companies that require them to work on a holiday, who are pretty put out about the whole thing. In fact, I bet every single one of them wishes they could be home with their families for Christmas Day.
You know, because that's what normal families do.
You know what else probably goes through their minds? They're probably thanking God they have a job. They're probably thanking God they might be able to provide for some or all of their family's celebration that year. They're probably thanking God they're doing better than they did last year. Maybe they know their willingness to work hard, even when it hurts, will show their employers that they're committed to the job and they'll be put up for a promotion?
Many companies offer time and a half, or even double time and a half, for employees who will work the holiday. Maybe that's the make it or break it day that will push their paychecks up just enough to be able to make their family celebration meaningful. Because they're making their own family traditions...a normal for them that is, frankly, none of your business.
Last Thanksgiving morning, my husband was home for the day, enjoying his paid holiday with his children. As they all giggled and played in the living room, I worked in the kitchen preparing a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner---more food than we could even fit on our table. I realized I'd forgotten to get something, and headed to Walmart. I felt a little guilty "making" the cashier ring me up, even though she had to be there anyway. As I reached for my change, I told her thank you for working that day. I told her how much I appreciated the store being open so I could finish what I was working on.
That woman didn't see me as some snob who was rubbing it in her face that I got to be normal and she didn't. She smiled big and told me how much she appreciated that I said that. I'd made her feel valued in the midst of hundreds of other shoppers also rushing through to get back to the kitchen. Her family was preparing the dinner and she was going home later that afternoon to enjoy it with them. This was her normal.
This Thanksgiving, I might just head down to Walmart for the fun of it. Just to tell one of them thanks for doing hard things. Here's a new status meme for you...I dare you.