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Many of our readers are old enough to remember when holidays like Thanksgiving meant spending time around the turkey with family, then falling asleep in front of the television and not much else after that.

That's because nothing was open for business. Or very few places. By tradition, most retailers shut down for major holidays. Even if they didn't want to lose customer dollars, there used to be things we called "blue laws" to make sure they complied.

But all that went away years ago and now most holidays are as much about shopping as celebrating. Still, a lot of folks think that's wrong. We see it every year around Thanksgiving, for example. There will be social media posts, including many from Texarkana residents, bemoaning the way it was and urging retailers to close their doors on the holiday to give their employees more time with their families.

Well, this year those people will get their wish. But not for the reason they were pushing.

Several retailers, including Walmart, Target and Dick's Sporting Goods, have announced they will not be open this Thanksgiving because of concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn't a year for crowds," Target posted Monday on its website.

Sounds good. But so far no word on closing the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday as it's called is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. The crowds that day are larger than on Thanksgiving itself. If health is the concern, why not end the Black Friday shopping spree this year?

Couldn't be about the money, could it? Maybe we're just being cynical.

In any case, this Thanksgiving respite likely won't be permanent. But traditionalists can enjoy it while it lasts.

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