Do you have your Thanksgiving Day shopping list done? Have you plotted your route from store to store so that you can snap up all the great holiday deals?

For weeks, television, radio, and cyber-ads have been blasting at us, inviting us to get out there and get the jump on our Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving Day. They’re promising deep discounts and a variety of sundry bells and whistles to entice us to leave our Thanksgiving tables early – or skip them entirely.

The trend for stores to open on Thanksgiving Day has grown to the point that media are now referring to Thanksgiving as “Grey Thursday” and the trend itself as “Black Friday Creep.”

I think “creep” is the perfect word and I see a double meaning there.

Not only are Black Friday shopping hours steadily encroaching on the Thanksgiving holiday, but the “creep” is steadily encroaching on the sacredness of the family. It’s a dangerous mentality. True, Thanksgiving is not a religious celebration, and it is not immoral to shop on that day. However, it’s a time-honored tradition in our country that focuses on family (yes, also food, but primarily on family).

When 90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims sat down to the first-ever Thanksgiving feast, it was as families and in gratitude for an abundant harvest after having suffered the long and arduous passage by ship from Europe and starvation in the wilderness and harsh winters of the new country. Thanks to their friend Squanto (a Catholic, by the way), they’d learned to catch eel and grow corn among many other things.

In 1863, President Lincoln established the last Thursday in November as a national holiday – Thanksgiving Day – to commemorate all for we’ve been given through God’s providence.

In this proclamation, dated October 3, 1863, he wrote:

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

Since the beginning, Thanksgiving has been a day to gather as family, pause, look to each other, and give thanks for all that God has given us, all that we’ve been through (even the difficult moments). and for all who are dear to us, both living and deceased. It’s one of the last strongholds of national days that support family life.

Do you really want to let go of that?

Practically speaking, even if you aren’t spending Thanksgiving with relatives, it’s still a day to witness to the importance of family, through your prayers, respect for other families, and by letting others be with their families. If you’re shopping at a store at Thanksgiving, there are employees who aren’t able to spend the day with their families as a result.

Conceptually speaking, it’s an opportunity to stand up for the family.

Here’s an interesting facet to this whole creep trend. While there are an increasing number of stores opening on Thanksgiving, there are a decreasing number of people shopping on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday.

According to a study published on the CivicScience website, there’s been a 13% decrease in the number of US adults who say they plan to go shopping for holiday gifts on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 versus 2014. The figure is the result of a survey of 3,200 adults.

Of those who responded that they’re very likely to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day, 3% of the 3,200 said yes this year while 4% had said they’re very likely in 2014.

And yet the “creep” marches on.

Thankfully, there are stores that are committed to remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day. Here’s the list, which I found on

  • A.C. Moore
  • Big5
  • Babies R Us
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • BJs
  • Burlington
  • Cabelas
  • Costco
  • Christopher and Banks
  • Fred’s
  • Fred Meyer
  • Game Stop
  • Gold Galaxy
  • Half Price Books
  • HEB Stores
  • Harbor Freight
  • Joann
  • Menards
  • Nordstrom
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • PepBoys
  • Raymour & Flanigan
  • REI
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sportsman’s Warehouse
  • Staples
  • TJ Maxx
  • Tractor Supply
  • Tru Value

I’d like to applaud those stores who are bucking the trend and remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day. These are the stores that are offering the best deals of all – a day to stand up for family and not join the “creep.”

They’re the stores that will get my patronage—but only after I’ve spent Thanksgiving Day reflecting, praising and thanking God, and spending time with those who are dear to me.