In only a few days now, Americans will be celebrating that most American of holidays, Thanksgiving, the one holiday in which we all share equally, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or the number of fingers on our hands; and also the one that has remained remarkably untainted by commercialism.
Until now. Some major retailers (Sears, Target), with others sure to follow, are opening stores to shoppers on Thanksgiving evening. No more waiting until midnight for those bargains! The motivation is pure greed: Stores want to get more of your money, sooner. No waiting until tomorrow to acquire your dollars if they can have them today! And they'll gradually expand hours in coming years so that Thanksgiving can be just another day to go buy something. (Pity their poor employees.)
The stores offer the justification that consumers want to shop on Thanksgiving, nobody's doing much of anything Thanksgiving afternoon anyway. They're probably right about that: I'm sure there are people - lots of them - prepared or even eager to dash out that evening to acquire a fantastic bargain on a television the size of a football field, or other such essential merchandise.
If you're not among that group, you can stay home (and boycott these stores for the season if you like); but your holiday will still be different if your wife, or even your uncle Harry, plans to rush out to the nearest mall.