Monday, November 24, 2014

SOAPBOX: Shopping on Thanksgiving

Forgive my little editorial, but I have to say that I chuckle when I hear so many people complain about the "Black Friday bleed" into Thanksgiving that has retailers opening on the holiday.

I operate a small business, and my business will NOT be open on Thanksgiving. But I'm not going to act self-righteous about it. Although Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite holiday, the fact is, if there were a lucrative enough reason to open on Thanksgiving, I probably would. But the chance to take a day off & give my crew some time with their families currently outweighs any benefits I would get from being open for business this Thursday.

Money talks. And money is the reason that many retailers & restaurants are open on Thanksgiving. For every person complaining about how commercialized the holidays are getting, there are dozens of people driving to malls & opening their wallets for perceived bargains.

I would love it if everyone decided to NOT shop on Thanksgiving. I would love it if the entire world would take the day off and just engage in some community fellowship under the rubric of gratitude & sharing.

But it's not going to happen.

And it may actually be better that we live in a society where you have the choice to shop or not.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. However you choose to observe it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


It is the anniversary of one of the greatest speeches in American history.
It's short & eloquent, more a poem than a speech.
The entire text:
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."