Bet on it: This year it's Macy's. Next year there will be more stores. 8 p.m. will become 7 p.m. Then 6. Then noon.
The loss of Thanksgiving as a shopping-free day is disturbing for several reasons.
One reason is that the change is beyond our control. The retailers decide to open, and then it's done. They get to change Thanksgiving.
And shoppers will come. That's another reason the shift is troubling. People will leave their homes, get in their cars, be distracted by shopping lists. The ambient energy of the day will change. The deep quiet will vanish.
Someone at your Thanksgiving will insist on leaving before the dessert plates are cleared to be in line for the sales, to get a "head start" on the holidays.
And here's another cause for distress. You who protests this sacrilege? That early shopper may be you.
We're all vulnerable. Most of us anyway. That's the really scary part. Consumer creep is like kudzu.
How easy it will be to tell yourself that you're taking advantage of your "free time" to shop on the holiday. And as fast as you can swipe a credit card, the freedom of Thanksgiving will be forfeited.
If this vision of Thanksgivings to come sounds bleak, I present it with the best of intentions, as a cautionary tale.
We can't stop Macy's. But, even led into temptation, we can stop ourselves.