Sorry to say, but just when you thought some holidays would be set aside for families to get together and give thanks for their blessings, the news comes out that the World’s Biggest Store, flying in the face of tradition, will be open for early Christmas shoppers this Thanksgiving.

Not that anyone could force them to close a la some kind of “blue law”, yet there was something endearing about a giant retailer giving their staff off for the holiday; and not giving into the mindset of allowing the hordes of shoppers to get a jump on Christmas gift giving.

No such luck.

And given the economic realities of today (if other retailers are, why shouldn’t we?), it’s silly to think the corporate honchos at Macy’s wouldn’t give in.

According to this:

Macy’s, a source revealed to WWD last week, is reversing its traditional policy of staying closed on Thanksgiving after noticing with dismay that much of the crowd that gathered for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year concluded the day by going on a collective shopping spree at rival department store Lord & Taylor, which opened its doors at 10 a.m. as an experiment and drank Macy’s milkshake.

The old-school department stores were the last holdouts. Now L&T, Macy’s, Walmart, Gap, Toys “R” Us and Kmart are all opening Thanksgiving night (and in some cases, even Thanksgiving morning).

Thanksgiving has always been a uniquely great American holiday, secular or reverent as you wish, a day set aside for family and gratitude.

Because it has never been linked to exchanging gifts, it has remained free of commercialism. We treat it with the seriousness it deserves. As a people we travel great distances for Thanksgiving, often at the cost of the enormous stress wrought by congestion, because we know how important it is to show family members we love them.

But couldn’t the national shopping orgy wait until the day after the holiday? Shouldn’t we continue to keep this one Thursday (plus Christmas, the day set aside for consumption hangover) more about the heart than the shopping cart?

Even if every other holiday has turned into an excuse for buying — given how Presidents’ Day has turned out, today’s schoolchildren can be forgiven for thinking it’s an occasion to honor the presidents of Target and Best Buy — Thanksgiving itself was supposed to be fenced off.

It’s reassuring to spend an entire day in the same house with family members we may know well but hardly ever see.

No outside force should break that family spell.

We pretty much all bemoan the fact that the holiday season starts too early to begin with. Now with stores opening earlier and earlier the night of Thanksgiving, all semblance of the holiday as being one meant spent with family is thrown out the window.

Perhaps it’s a symptom of our notion of how much importance we put on spending time with family.

Apparently not much.

But wouldn’t it be nice if a giant retailer like Macy’s were to fight the onslaught of commercialism and set aside the day for what it were truly meant? (Eating too much and football!). And have others follow!

Dream on!

Do you plan to shop Thanksgiving Day or spend it with family?