Germany got Hungary ate Turkey and slipped on Greece.

It’s turkey-eating time again, that kick-off to Christmas, a season that I’m surely not alone in dreading.  Mine is a retail family and this year promises to be especially dismal for more than economic reasons.

How many of you remember Blue Laws?  I remember complaining about them.  Everything was closed on Sunday.  Finding an open gas station was nearly impossible and if, God forbid, you needed a plumber, you had to be prepared to pay with your firstborn. When all that changed, I for one rejoiced, not taking into account the people who faced no more Sundays off or in what direction this country would take its new found shopping freedoms.

My husband has worked for the same major retailer for 27 years and we have seen many changes.  He used to have Thanksgiving Day off.  This year his company, like many others have already done, will be open Thanksgiving Day.  Some of you may have heard about the petiton started by a Target employee to keep the stores closed so the employees could have their holiday off.  I believe there are currently some 88,000 signatures and counting. A spokesperson for Target commented that the employee who started the petition is not scheduled to work on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.  I’m willing to bet he or she won’t be scheduled to work anything else either.

Meanwhile, my husband’s posted schedule was changed. Again.  Not only is he working on Thanksgiving, he’s now working the split shift from Hell: 5am to 12pm, then home to sleep until he goes back from 8pm to 8am.  As if anyone other than the 1% have got any money to spend all night long this year.  And let’s not mention the fact that driving while sleep deprived is as dangerous as driving drunk.  The difference is too many people don’t have the choice, if they want to stay employed.  Now technically, he and his co-workers are not “required” to work schedules that are changed with less than 2 week’s notice, but they are strongly “encouraged” to “volunteer” with the understanding that those who fail to grasp the subtext may find themselves with a lot of time on their hands.  We’re pretty sure that by next year, Christmas will be the same deal.

Now, I’m no huge fan of religious holidays, any religion.  I find them divisive, especially nowadays with the political and social environments melting down faster than the polar ice caps.  However, I am dismayed by our lack of national holidays during which non-essential personnel, not just the government employees, might have the day off to rest and enjoy a little national and family unity for a change.  I think we all could use it and I’m pretty sure it’ll never come to pass.  All hail the almighty dollar.  I can’t help but find it sad that our seasonal dash for cash has obscured the fact that Thanksgiving is a national holiday decreed by President Abraham Lincoln to essentially promote unity and remembrance in the wake of the horrors suffered by our nation during the Civil War.  That cute little tale we learned in school about Pilgrims and Native Americans eating turkey is as relevant to Thanksgiving as the title of this post is to World War 2.  This year, let us give thanks for our unified nation, the people who lost their lives to keep it that way and all the working folk who won’t get to be home with their families to celebrate it.

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~ by loretta8 on November 17, 2011.

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