It's that time of year again when we all get our free turkeys while jamming out to Christmas tunes. The holiday season is here, and so are all the holiday festivities that come with it.

This time of year is a big deal for retailers, especially here in New Jersey. It's when being the first with the hottest deals is paramount to the bottom line. And those of us in The Garden State can't wait to scoop up those savings.

Of course, this also means plenty of seasonal positions as well that many in New Jersey can take advantage of. Retailers often hire additional help this time of year, perfect for those eager to earn a few extra bucks heading into the holiday season.

Up until recently, many retailers started to get greedy with being open on Thanksgiving. Black Friday, of course, has been a mainstay tradition. But what started as a 5 a.m. opening slowly pushed earlier and earlier.

Eventually, some retailers opened at midnight to kick off black Friday deals, forcing some to grab only an hour or two of sleep after Thanksgiving before going out to shop for deals. And in some cases, sleep was bypassed altogether.

Carlp778, Flickr
Carlp778, Flickr

Then the greed really began to take over with the opening on Thanksgiving day. It was bad enough this was happening, but some employers were given no choice but to work.

And this wasn't just seasonal workers, but regular employees as well. And it simply wasn't fair to them to be forced to go in and be pulled away from their family and friends.

With that said, what if New Jersey established some sort of law forcing certain non-essential retailers to remain closed on Thanksgiving? We've definitely been trending in the right direction over the past few years, but some still insist on being open for turkey day, which isn't right.

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It takes employees away from family and friends

One main point to banning nonessential businesses from opening on Thanksgiving has to do with forcing their employees away from friends and family. Thanksgiving is a day we should all be together, not fighting someone over the sale price of shoes.

It doesn't matter if the sale is over an article of clothing or the latest gadget. Let the employees deal with all of that on Black Friday and through the holiday weekend, not on Thanksgiving.

Of course, this won't apply to essential businesses such as select gas stations. Those that must work should receive at least double pay for going in. At least then it makes it worthwhile.

But as a rule, employees shouldn't be forced to go in and work. It's a paid holiday for some as it is, and we should leave it at that.


It'll stop family members from abandoning Thanksgiving dinner

Preventing nonessential retailers from opening would also help keep family members at the Thanksgiving table that would otherwise be out hunting for a great deal on a new phone.

Before retailers opened on Thanksgiving, we would all gather as a family and enjoy a great feast while catching up with those we haven't seen all year. And not to mention, bonding over football games.

Yes, some people rather not be with family on Thanksgiving, and that's OK for them. But even they should have that day to themselves instead of being lured into a store.


A monkey wrench for Christmas this year

For the most part, retailers will almost certainly be closed on Christmas day. With the exception of some essential businesses, most everyone will be home for the holiday or traveling to see others after Santa has left the state.

But on some years, Christmas can be tricky. And for 2022, that tricky situation will play out and become reality.

This year, the holiday falls on a Sunday, with Christmas being observed on Monday, December 26. This is more or less a formality, of course, so we have a proper observance outside the weekend.

Susan Vineyard
Susan Vineyard

A law to keep observed days closed?

Since Monday, December 26 isn't actually Christmas, but rather an observed day, does that mean retailers should remain closed as well? If a retailer must be open, then they most certainly should pay more for an employee's time.

However, should that observed weekday also be treated as a holiday? After all, it is an observed day on the calendar, so it should get the same treatment as the actual holiday on Sunday.

The same could be said for when the holiday falls on a Saturday. If the observed day is on Friday, then maybe force retailers to close then? That, of course, would mean all final shopping deals would have to be done that Thursday. But is that really such a bad thing?

"Black Friday" Marks Start Of Holiday Shopping Season
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A law for where it makes sense

Obviously, a law like this shouldn't apply to every holiday. For example, it would be ridiculous for stores to be closed on Memorial Day or Labor Day. But an argument could be made for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Nobody should be forced to work a nonessential job on such major holidays. It's simply not fair to have to deal with unpleasant customers on days that are meant for family and friends.

This is why it's a good thing some retailers are opting not to open Thanksgiving this year and will allow their employees to be home or visit their loved ones. That's how it should be.

Unfortunately, too many greedy employers want to take advantage of the holidays and don't care if they disrupt family gatherings over a discount that probably isn't that good anyway. All to make an extra buck.

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paying cash (DjelicS/Getty Images)

It's all the more reason why New Jersey should have some sort of law forcing these nonessential businesses to remain closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. And yes, that includes when Christmas is observed on a Monday or Friday due to the holiday falling on the weekend.

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