I’m not going to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

Americans used to fiercely protect their family time and now it seems we are more interested in saving a few bucks on the newest video game system than visiting with those who love us more than anyone else does.

Slowly, we are losing the meaning of family.

For the last 35 years, I’ve made my living in and around retail and advertising and for that I am very grateful. But, I am adamantly against shopping on Thanksgiving.

Family time used to be Sundays and all major holidays. I can remember our family planning to fill up with gasoline and buy groceries or department store items ahead of time because we knew that the folks at the gas stations, grocery stores and other places also would be spending time with their families.

Not so much these days.

This year, for the first time, many stores have announced that they will be open on Thanksgiving Day. This means that more people, both shoppers and store employees, will not be with their families during the very time that was set aside so that families could do just that.

The Pilgrims are given the credit for the first Thanksgiving in the year 1622. But it was President Abraham Lincoln who, in 1863, set aside an official national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

Seems Abe was pretty clear about the intent of the holiday, doesn’t it?

There are many local businesses in Tyler which are choosing to remain closed on Thanksgiving because they feel that their employees’ time with their families is more important than profits. I salute Don’s TV and Appliance as one of those.

It was a conversation that I recently had there with someone that made me realize how much family time we have allowed to be taken from us by our willingness to stand in line during Thanksgiving instead of take a stand about Thanksgiving.

I will spend no less on items this holiday season than I always have. And I will support the businesses, especially the local businesses, from which I always buy.

But, I will be spending Thanksgiving Day with my family.