Saturday, May 18, 2013
Some Mainers will be counting down the minutes to midnight, standing outside in frigid weather waiting for big box stores to throw open their doors and begin Black Friday.
It's a tradition that seems as popular with business owners as it is with shoppers, for whom snagging the steeply discounted merchandise is a November tradition as cherished as a deer hunt.
Does it matter that most Americans have already gotten an early start?
Stores are open in all but three states on Thanksgiving, giving shoppers a chance to prowl the aisles while people in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are still eating turkey or napping in front of a television set. Because of our ancient "blue laws," a legacy of the same Puritans who gave us the first Thanksgiving, our stores are closed.
Which is fine by us. People enjoy their Black Friday shopping and businesses need the revenue, but it can wait a few hours.
Thanksgiving is a precious holiday that has been easily adopted by every wave of immigrants who have come to live here. It's simple -- families and friends get together, eat a meal and give thanks for the blessings they have received.
No one has to participate if they would rather do something else, like shop, but people who work in retail should be able to get a day off so they can celebrate with their families.
This time, the Puritans were right.