On the one hand closing down society and most of its functions, including schools, businesses and public recreation was painful for most people in New Jersey and the country. Yet many people found real quality time to spend with their families in ways many hadn't done before or for a long time. Board games, family movie nights, big family meals and really doing simple things together became central in most households. The nuclear family, which has been splintering and taking a back seat to more self centered activities, has made a comeback thanks to the pandemic and shutdown that ensued.

Many people have tried to devalue the families' importance in American social life. Some have even vilified the nuclear family as a destructive and negative force, when the exact opposite is true. Are there dysfunctional families that produce miserable, angry and destructive people? Sure. Look around and you'll see evidence of it in the stories that abound on conventional and social media. Maybe it's the old adage that misery loves company. Some people look at happy people with close family ties, while those are miserable and seethe with anger and envy.

So this week comes the announcement from Walmart, that for the first time in over 20 years, they will be closing their stores on Thanksgiving Day. It's about time. Being fortunate enough to come from a close loving family, I never understood who would shop on Thanksgiving or why. They claim it's in response to what families have been through this year and that it is a time for their employees families to enjoy time off and be together. It's a positive sign in a year which so far has seen very few. Good for Walmart and even better for their "associates".

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.

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