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Shopping Creep Endangering Thanksgiving Traditions

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(Photo Credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Nobody really seems to like it — certain giant retail stores opening on Thanksgiving Day.

“I don’t think they should. Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving. I don’t think it’s right,” says Phillip Spicuzza, Jr., of Dormont.

“It’s been a holiday for over two centuries. It is a time for family and for friends. It’s not time for consumerism,” adds Maureen McNeill of Scott.

But it’s happening — another transformation in America.

“It does seem like there’s a shift happening,” Dr. Dawn Long, a West Penn Allegheny psychologist, told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano.

Long says the commercial takeover of Thanksgiving is adding stress to the holiday.

“A lot of people still want to have that family togetherness, but now there’s an added expectation and pressure that you get out and you start the shopping early and get the best gifts,” she says.

It’s not just shoppers who feel an artificial need to rush out on Thanksgiving because of some hyped-up super deal. The employees who must work the holiday are hurt, too.

“It’s probably more pressure for them because it’s not a choice,” notes Long.

Many are sympathetic to those workers and wish those opening early would rethink it.

“For their employees, I think they should take time for their employees and give them the day off,” says Melissa Fuson, of Mt. Lebanon.

There’s no sign of that happening — especially if shoppers show up to shop.

With the growing commercialization of Thanksgiving, some wonder if Americans have forgotten the basic reason for this holiday — to give thanks.

A number of churches still hold services on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day, but shopping seems to be overwhelming the holiday.

“We’ve got to do something; our country is falling; we need more people to care and pray for one another,” adds Joe Owens, of Brookline.

Many fear that the transforming of Thanksgiving will only get worse — with more stores opening earlier next year.

While the vast majority of shoppers do not — and will not — shop on Thanksgiving — as long as enough do, retailers have an incentive to open early.

If you don’t like this culture change — stick to your family traditions.

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