People wait in line to get an early start on Black Friday shopping deals at a Target store on November 22, 2012 in Rosemead, California, as many retailers stayed opened during the Thanksgiving celebrations, evidence that even this cherished American family holiday is falling prey to the forces of commerce. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) | FREDERIC J. BROWN via Getty Images
For Patricia Stumpff, planning Thanksgiving dinner has been a nightmare in recent years. Last year, she had her family meal the Sunday before the holiday. The year before, they ate at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Stumpff, who works at Target, has had a hard time squeezing in a few hours for family when her daughter, who also has a job in retail, has to show up for work on Thanksgiving.
“I have been angry about the whole creep of Black Friday into Thursday for a number of years,” Stumpff, 61, said. “I decided that if I was having that many problems with getting the family together for Thanksgiving dinner, that other people were, too, and we needed to try to stop this.”
Stumpff launched a petition asking Target to reconsider its policy of opening on Thanksgiving Day. So far, her petition has garnered more than 95,000 signatures on Change.org. It’s one of nearly 60 such petitions on the site, and together they’ve drawn more than 188,000 signatures asking retailers to stay closed on Nov. 28.
Like others who have expressed outrage over stores’ Black Friday (or Thursday) plans, Stumpff said she’s concerned about what the retail creep is doing to both workers and shoppers.
Patricia Stumpff and her family.
“All my life I felt like I needed a balance between work and family time and work would win out a lot,” Stumpff said. “These are holidays that we should stay home with family, and the rest of the year the companies can win out.
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