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Thursday, November 24, 2011

No Thanksgiving Holiday for some retail workers, should mean YES to supporting local businesses

A Turkey.
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Most families are enjoying full stomachs from eating the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and all of the surrounding trimmings. 

The gentlemen in the house are talking about how our lovable Lions just lost to the Green Bay Packers and Defensive Lineman Ndamukong Suh being rejected from the game or un-sportsman like conduct. 

At least the men can say the loveable Lions are 7-4 and still on their way to a winning season.

The women in the household are having another debate. First, do they take part in the annual Black Friday trip to retail stores, finding the “best” deals for Christmas gifts one day only? That’s the true issue this year because unlike years prior, Black Friday should be called “Black Thursday”, “Midnight Friday” or either “Don’t sleep the day after Thanksgiving”.

This year, a number of retail stores are opening at hours unseen before on the retail branded sudo-holiday of “Black Friday”. Walmart has broadcast commercials since Tuesday night that the retailer plans on opening at 10:00 PM on Thursday. Yet, they are still calling their sudo-holiday capitalism in action sales-day a “Black Friday” sale.

Macy’s, Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s and even our local mall location Briarwood in Ann Arbor, Michigan are touting and shouting from the rooftops, they are opening at Midnight on Friday. For the retail employees of these locations unlucky to be scheduled on a former customary day of Thanksgiving, more likely than not, they will be coming into work between 10:00-11:00PM.

Where did the calls for shining at the altar of ultra-capitalism, come before allowing retail employees to spend one day with friends and family? What next, “Let’s open on Christmas to flip gift returns to sales instead?” While writing this article, thoughts are crossing the mind on where does this ends.

For too many years to count, I worked as a retail store manager in the telecommunication field. Since the wireless sales field isn’t known for having 300 people line up outside of an in-line store at 2:00 AM the morning after Thanksgiving seeking the 42 inch LCD television for $199.99, we were allowed to sleep off our Thanksgiving meal and clock into work by 8:00 AM. Guess one can say that as retail employees, we were the lucky ones.

Maybe that is why its’ painful to hear that corporate decision makers far beyond the line retail employee, using their power to call in early the employees’ Thanksgiving get together time at Grandma, Mom or Auntie’s house to service deal hungry consumers, fighting for a $99.99 computer tablet.

But, some retailers are aggressively standing firm on the belief that the Thanksgiving holiday should be a consumer free affair. They are either staying closed until 4AM on “Black Friday” morning or opening later in the day….which is the normal way to do things. 

Larger retailers like Radio Shack, Mejiers, Art Van and Von Maur refuse to open their doors until Thanksgiving Day is truly over by hours, and not just by one minute afterwards at Midnight.

The newly touted Small Business Saturday, taking place on Saturday, November 26th, is another way for customers who have not spent all of their Christmas funds running into the Walmart line at 10:00 PM Thursday to purchase $5.00 year old movie CD’s, to keep customer dollars in their local community. 

Considering Walmart assisted with closing the doors of many local businesses with their aggressive business tactics; supporting local businesses in today’s tough economy would be a good thing, right?

On Tuesday, when the rumblings start appearing on local media outlets about a number of retail stores opening ultra-early on Thanksgiving night or “Black Friday” midnight for sales, ROJS-N sent out a call on Facebook for businesses that were allowing their retail employees to spend time with their families, on Thanksgiving.

Instead of fighting the crowds at Briarwood, think about taking the time to support these businesses that truly know the meaning of this important family based holiday, shouldn't including making their employees come into work.

“Flint Handmade will host the 5th Annual Holiday Craft Market on Saturday, November 26, 2011 from 10am-4pm at The Masonic Temple in Downtown Flint. 
The Holiday Craft Market will feature a large variety of unique, modern handmade items such as original illustrations, screen-printed shirts for adults and kids, reconstucted jewelry, hand-poured candles, natural soaps, plush toys and much more from 50+ vendors!

The first 25 shoppers of the day will receive free goodie bags filled with vendor coupons, merchandise, and other treats.

The Temple Dining Room inside The Masonic Temple will be open for sit-down and take-out lunches from 11am-3pm. Admission is free for all. Donations welcome.
The Masonic Temple is located at 755 S. Saginaw Street in Downtown Flint, MI 48502.”
Need to share the gift of reading for the holidays? Take a visit to “EVERYbody Reads” open from 11:00AM-5:00PM “Black Friday”, Saturday or Sunday.
"EVERYbody Reads exists to provide services and resources to mid-Michigan’s underserved individuals, families and communities by offering a comprehensive bookstore and neighborhood center. Further it is our goal to make certain that every individual can see their faces and hear their stories in our collection, regardless of everything. 
EVERYbody reads seeks to be known as a neighborhood resource center where individuals and families find a heart of social vitality, kinship and belonging. 
We are located on 2019 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI 48912."
While shopping, you might want to have breakfast or lunch meal at the Gone Wired Café in Lansing Michigan. They will open at 9AM on Friday and stay open until 5PM.
"Gone Wired Café is a Breakfast & Brunch Restaurant, Burger Restaurant and Coffee Shop in the Lansing, Michigan area. They have been a supporter of the local Occupy Lansing movement at Reutter’s Park in the city. 
What a better idea than to spend some of your holiday dollars at an establishment that supports the 99%."
Remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving by paying a visit to the Giving HOPE Wellness Center for Holistic medicine in Ovid, Michigan.

Rev. Brenda Bates a Nemenhah Medicine Woman/Spiritual Leader of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Sanpete.
Rev. Bates main purpose in operating her center is to help people heal instead of deal with life. She is well known for helping her clientele get to the root cause of their emotional and physical pain and problems and to release their causes. She asks, "Did you know that everyone has all the answers within themselves to answer why they are sick or why a pattern of behavior is reoccurring again and again? The main reason people come to me is so I can be the bridge between them and their subconscious mind. 
After Rev. Bates helps her clientele access information from their subconscious minds and one is able to see, hear, and feel why there is an issue, she goes further and uses tools and techniques that helps her clientele heal themselves. 
The next step in the healing process is to release and detach from the pain whether it be emotional, mental, physical or spiritual in a matter of minutes instead of weeks, months, or years. She also provides products to help her clientele cleanse themselves of the built up toxins in their body and teaches them how to recondition their life.
The center will be open from Noon-6pm on Friday and Saturday from Noon-4pm.

Purchase a beautiful and memorable photo for the holidays from Lake Superior Photo. Best part of supporting this local business, is there is no need to leave the house, as they are an online business. Check out their photo galleries!

Finally, if toys make up the need to take a trip to Toys R’ Us that will be the earliest opener of all, at 9PM on Thanksgiving Day.

We suggest that you spend time with family instead, wake up in the morning at a normal time and purchase locally made toys from Tree Town Toys in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

We are a family-owned specialty toy store located in beautiful Ann Arbor, Michigan. With a selection of thousands of products, a thriving online business, and a family of incredible customers from all over the midwest, we are just thrilled with how things have gone since we opened in 2006.
Tree Town Toys is a proud member of the American Specialty Toys Retailing Association (ASTRA).  
One of our owners, Hans, served on the Board for ASTRA since from 2007 to 2010 and was in 2009 voted as one of the best places in Michigan to purchase, toys!
At Tree Town Toys, we are a genuinely unique shopping experience - with only the coolest toys, games, and hobby on the planet for the most awesome kids in the entire universe.
Located at 2611 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor, Michigan,  Tree Town Toys will be open on Friday 9:30 am-8:00 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-7:00 pm and Sunday 11:00 am- 5:00 pm.

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