Tuesday, January 1, 2013

#1—Refrain from making purchases on holidays (or Sundays).

26 Expressions of Love and Kindness Plus 1
#1—Refrain from making purchases 
on holidays (or Sundays).

            This may surprise you as being an expression of love and kindness, but don't you want a day off?  Don't you want a day you can depend on being with your family or friends?  Of course you do, and so does everyone else.  Your shopping on a holiday touches many families by keeping some people away from home on that day.

            I am not advocating passing a law to limit business on holidays or Sundays, but we live in a capitalist society that is driven by consumers.  It is foolish for a wise businessman to pay for a full staff (or even a partial staff) to work on days when no customers walk through the doors.  After experiencing losses on a particular day, a store owner will give that day off for all or most employees.  Will that hurt business?  Of course not.  My family drinks lots of milk.  I will buy milk, just not on New Year's Day.  The store will get my business (and money) the day before or the next day.  The store's overall income will not change just because I did not purchase my milk on New Year's Day.  Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby are just two examples of many successful businesses that choose to give every employee Sundays (and many holidays) off.

            Of course, not everyone can have a holiday off.  For example, hospitals still need to care for their patients, but by not scheduling elective procedures and tests on holidays, more hospital staff members can spend holidays with loved ones.  In addition, some people say they would rather work than spend time with friends or family, but when you shop, you do not get to decide if the employees who prefer to work are the people who will be serving you.  Realistically, many people that make that type of comment do so as a way to deal with the fact they are working on a day they believe they should have off.

            Consider Thanksgiving.  It was not that long ago that nearly everyone in the United States could be with family on Thanksgiving, except for our community caretakers, such as police officers, firemen, etc.  Then the Black Friday opening times began to creep backwards.  Slowly the times reached back into the night to cause employees of major chains to cut short their Thanksgiving celebrations in order to get ready for early shoppers.  This year thousands of employees across the nation did not get Thanksgiving off at all because of shopping specials Thursday and Friday. 

            We could all say, "But I had to!  I could not pass up that deal."  I understand.  Yet, consider this.  If every consumer across the nation put aside self-centeredness (and greed) and refused to shop on holidays, do you think smart business executives would continue to be open?  Wouldn't they offer specials on different days?  Who do you think pushed the opening times back?  Consumers!  When shoppers started lining up at stores four hours before they opened, the stores said, "If they want to spend their money here that badly, let's open the doors and welcome them in!"
            Shoppers influence and direct how businesses operate.  Shoppers can use that same influence to express love and kindness to employees (who are often paid minimum wage) by refraining from making purchases on holidays and Sundays.  Those employees will still get in their much-needed hours to work, but they can work on the other days, which will then be much busier.  As a result, their families can happily be touched by the breadwinners always knowing they can spend time with their families on holidays and at least one particular day each week.

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