A point upon which traditionalists and anti-capitalist progressives can agree: Don’t shop on Thanksgiving.

My husband and I used to be liberal progressives back in our 20s when we were fresh from college indoctrination. At that time, we subscribed to a journal called Ad Busters: Journal of the Mental Environment, which is an anti-consumerist zine.  We are now very conservative traditionalists, but in some ways we still believe many of the same fundamental things about what life, family, and culture should look like as we did in our Ad Busters progressive days, even if we are no longer pro-abortion and pro-sexual deviancy. We were never socialists but always believed in some reasonable limitations being placed on capitalism; we still believe this but it stems from our Christian convictions now.

So what does being a traditionalist anti-consumerist look like? Well, in part it means you are disgusted by companies like Toys R Us having policies such as this one, recently posted at The Thinking Housewife: Thanksgiving: The Shopping Holiday:

What can possibly be so important at Toys R Us that they must remain open 24 hours over the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the few days a year in modern America when most families actually sit down and eat a home-cooked meal together? Whatever it is, it is to be scorned and mocked and then avoided.

I encourage you strongly not to engage in any consumerism whatsoever on Thursday. Buy nothing. In our 20s, Philip and I believed in Buy Nothing Day, which was practiced on Black Friday, but back then stores were not open on Thanksgiving. We will now stretch Buy Nothing Day over both Thursday AND Friday, but if you simply must shop, at least wait until Friday to do it. Don’t participate in the further degradation of family life by turning Thanksgiving into just another day for mindless consumption and sinful acquisitiveness.

Have a blessed, peaceful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

8 thoughts on “A point upon which traditionalists and anti-capitalist progressives can agree: Don’t shop on Thanksgiving.

  1. After about seventeen years of it, my family gave up on me. Everyone has a family, including retail workers. Most places do not need to be open. At best, people are making everyday purchases that could have been acquired the day before.
    On a happier note,


  2. Reminds me of that famous Tennyson poem: “Ours is not to question why, ours is but to buy and die.” 😉

    I’m a virtual Monday shopper, myself. I have no problem complying with “Buy Nothing Day.”

    You know, I got a little bit of confusion from co-workers this week when I declined to celebrate Thanksgiving with them in the form of a pot luck. I like my co-workers, but I simply am tired of celebrating holidays with people other than my own family on days other than the actual holiday. Was I being a grump? I guess. But, I am now having a fantastic vacation at home with the people I am meant to spend it with- with the extra energy I didn’t spend elsewhere. I know my family appreciates it.

    Now to work out, clean, gather firewood, and bake!


  3. Disgusting, money-grubbing, sick, sick sick:

    If the Regis salon had its choice, the store in the Grand Traverse Mall would not have opened its doors on Thanksgiving.

    But the alternative was to pay the mall a fine of around $500, the salon’s manager told MLive and The Grand Rapids Press.

    “We had to be open all the required hours,” said the woman, who declined to give her name.

    You really have to read the whole story to fully appreciate the depravity.



  4. It gets worse. For those merchants that only have one person in the store, that person cannot take potty breaks or the store gets fined for being closed.
    The only way to stop this is to not support it with patronage.


  5. Here in Germany, shops remain firmly after 6pm or 7pm weekdays, and all day Sunday. About four times a year, there are special Sunday shopping days, where the shops are open from 1pm to 6pm. The local church always puts out a sign that says ‘those who would shop on a Sunday will soon find themselves working on a Sunday’. They have a point.


    • One of my husband’s groomsmen was a college friend of ours, John, who moved to Germany in the early 1990s and married an East German woman named Sabine. They lived in what was once East Berlin; I went to visit them one month around 1998 and on Sundays we always went out to brunch. The brunch restaurants were nearly the only thing open on Sundays, and people sat for *hours* having their meal and coffee and chatting. I was utterly unused to that pace and I had to adjust a bit, but Sabine told me things were beginning to change to a more “West German” frenetic (by Eastern standards) pace of life after reunification.


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