A radio program listed the worst places to visit on Christmas. The reason: Everything shuts down.
I can recall the news as a teenager that Tower Records would be open on Christmas Day! As a teenager I thought that was awesome. When I was younger I remember Sundays were days that not many things were open. Things have changed.
Now we have Black Friday sales that start on Thanksgiving Thursday, Sundays are open for business (although with shortened hours), and I won’t be surprised if the list of places open on Christmas start growing over the years.
Traditionally Sundays and Christmas were closed down for religious reasons. With the push away from religion in societies around the world, the protest for practices related to religion grew. In the U.K. the Sunday Trading Act of 1994 was put in place allowing shops to open on Sundays with restrictions on hours of operation. In the U.S. it started much sooner, but there are a few areas that still prohibit most retail stores from operating on Sunday. An interesting one is Bergen County, New Jersey. This county is one of the few remaining in the U.S. that recognize Blue Laws. Bergen County is one of the larger retail centers of the New York Metropolitan Area. The area of Paramus is the economic foundation of one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S. bringing more revenue than any other zip code in America. Even with that status, they have laws that restrict most retail businesses to operate on Sundays.
I don’t think it has to be for religious reasons that we shut things down. I think it creates a culture and mindset that is healthy for our society. Rest. Refocus.
In the 1896 Chief Justice Stephen Johnson Field is quoted to say:
“Its requirement is a cessation from labor. In its enactment, the legislature has given the sanction of law to a rule of conduct, which the entire civilized world recognizes as essential to the physical and moral well-being of society.”
My wife will argue that I am probably in need of my own advice. Rest. Slow down. Refocus. Reflect. Close for busyness.
This Christmas, I hope you all had a restful and meaningful Christmas, free of busyness. As we head into the new year, may you find regular days to close for rest. -jason