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TELL US: Should Mass. Blue Laws Be Eliminated?

Blue laws prohibit retailers from opening before midnight on Black Friday.

Black Friday is starting earlier than ever, as some national retailers have announced they will open the night of Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 22. However, here in Massachusetts, state blue laws prohibit stores from opening until midnight, according to an article in the Boston Globe. 

Current blue laws prohibit retailers in the state from opening on Thanksgiving, thus preventing them from getting an early start on Black Friday sales, according to the Globe article. Some exceptions are restaurants, health care facilities and gas stations. 

The laws, instituted in the 17th century, are intended to make sure holidays are properly observed, according to the Boston Globe. 

Are Massachusetts' blue laws outdated? Should they be eliminated? Tell us in the comments section below.

GB November 14, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Let's let all stores stay open 24-7. No holidays. No weekends. Don't the workers deserve time off? Are they spending too much time bringing up their kids or are they trying to buy their love? Look what society is turning into. Gimmie, gimme, gimmie and the hell with morals and quality family time. Just buy everything and let them have it all without having to earn it.
B Springer November 14, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I think retail workers have it hard enough already. They barely get any holidays anymore. Let's not take Thanksgiving away from them too. This shopping mania has gone too far.
Nola Sheffer November 14, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Keep the laws. We need a few days where shopping does not reign supreme. It is bad enough that Black Friday now starts after midnight, instead of early in daylight!
Charlie Breitrose (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Sonny, no name calling. That's why your post got removed.
MarcWineGuy November 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM
It also means people that don't want to work on holidays, have to work to keep their jobs. No thanks, plenty of time to shop, ignore the hysteria and hoopla, let people have deals during the week rather than at 12:01, it's stupid.
Paul Rubin November 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Keep the Blue Laws!!! Holidays used to be real holidays; a time for family gatherings or celebration of some important part of American history. Now they are just excuses for increased consumerism and (as B Springer aptly says) "shopping mania".
barbara r November 14, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I agree--save Thanksgiving, at least. Workers have to work on Labor Day and the other major holidays--what a travesty. Let's keep some time for families and friends to relax together without juggling work schedules. And think about shopping local whenever possible to support our local, independents who think of their employees as people with lives of their own outside of work.
Charlie Breitrose (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Sonny, you know the rules. No name calling. Please stop!
M C Stringfellow November 14, 2012 at 07:18 PM
After midnight, TOYS R US is opening up at 9PM Having worked retail for 23 years, You couldn't pay me to shop the day after Thanksgiving. Opening a store at midnight is the pits. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I hardly got any sleep, always got a cold, and never participated in family events and now, Sears is open on Easter. What's happened? We did this to ourselves. As the man said, "Gimme Gimme Gimme" from our children and we do. I am for Blue Laws everywhere so families can become families again. God bless us all and have a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday. I think that covers everyone.
Rob November 14, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I think we should give a little something extra in everyone's holiday welfare too, I'm sure the Chinese wont mind if we borrow a little more. Now is not the time to be telling a business when and when they can or cant open. I manage a group of engineers and I have worked in some capacity (fire drills, meetings, emails) every holiday I can remember and have never complained about it, nor am I. Its the cost of providing for my family and making my company successful. When i was a wee lad working retail was 2 things. Young workers and Old workers (not many in between). It provides extra income to retirees and a reality check for the young work force that thinks they can skate through life. Stop coddling people and let nature takes its course.
Charlie Breitrose (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Yes Sonny. That's why. I have explained to you this many, many times.
Mary J. Sawyer November 14, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Last year my son had to work until 10:00pm on Christmas Eve at a well known toy store. He had to work because that's when they scheduled him, he didn't really have a choice in the matter. And to those 1 or 2 customers who were shopping at past 8:00 pm on Christmas Eve, shame on you! You know when Christmas is, the date doesn't change from year to year....plan ahead goodness sake.
M C Stringfellow November 14, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Best thing that ever happened is shopping on the internet because it saves me time, gas, and the hassle that goes with the parking and crowds. Worst thing is shopping on the internet because now I never get out. I can sympathize with MS Sawyer. I spent too many Eve's waiting for last customer to finally check out. I would not begrudge a child any gift , but he who waits for the final sale price is not thinking about the child. And yes, they should plan ahead.
John DiMascio November 15, 2012 at 01:18 PM
I'm usually all for free markets and letting stores open whenever. But in the end, I'd have to say it makes no sense on a couple of levels. For the most part all you're doing is spreading out the same business over more hours. That just means more overhead for the same amount of sales. So there is no real cost benefit to the stores. Of course the flip side is, that it gives employees in a struggling economy the opportunity to get more hours. Although as has been pointed out, it can also mean a pretty big imposition on people who ought to have a day for family. But the benefit for most MA retailers is negligible, unless they are located near the border of a state that where stores are open. But lets say we're talking near NH, we're already losing that business anyway because they don't have a sales tax. So this isn't going to make a whole lot of business. I guess it boils down to how far you want to take the principles of property rights and free enterprise. Most of you know me as an ardent defender and advocate for those rights. But I'm not going to the wall on this one. Let people enjoy Thanksgiving.
Earnhardt November 15, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I think two days a year isn't too much to ask. The stores have already started the holiday push about 3 weeks ago. If people haven't done it all by Christmas eve, then they are not going to do it at all. The amount of sales at 7 pm on xmas eve certainly isn't worth the electric bill to remain open. people need family time, It's good for morale, and it's a small token of a store's appreciation for the employees hard work and efforts.
Martha Creedon November 15, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I'll be posting the event part of this on the Events page later, but why not Celebrate GREEN FRIDAY on the Day after Thanksgiving! Why spend the day after Thanksgiving shopping? Instead, try one of these if you can: 1. Sleep in. 2. Go on a nature hike. 3. Bake, decorate and eat homemade cookies. 4. Eat leftovers and watch movies. 5. Spend some quality time with (or as!) grandparents. 6. Play board games. 7. Start a jigsaw puzzle. 8. Get started on some homemade holiday crafts and cards. 9. Do nothing. Buy nothing. Sure, go to CVS if you have to, but no need to spend all day shopping. 10. Chill out with others! Come to First Parish Waltham anytime between 11 and 2 - our doors are open to just drop in and chill! Bring something (food, movies, games, whatever) to share if you like, or just bring yourself! Low key, low stress, less stuff, high fun! Organized by the First Parish Social Action Team… stop by! Bring your friends!
B Springer November 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Martha Creedon - I wish Patch had a "Like" button so I could like your suggestion. I plan to spend my Friday after Thanksgiving on your #1-8! No shopping for me!
Hoaratio Cane November 15, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I think that the laws should stay in place and that more stringent laws should be added to other states as well. Yes I enjoy the connivence of being able to shop on Sunday or on a given non major holiday, but if the banks are closed, so too should the shops be closed.
Martha Creedon November 16, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Well, just in case anyone is so inclined, here is one organization's approach: http://massjwj.net/news/where-will-you-be-black-friday I just like that we're even talking about this and am grateful that I have a choice that day.
YiayiaOnline November 16, 2012 at 03:40 AM
There is no longer a need for a governmental intrusion to make church going possible without the distraction of shopping. Most people who wish to go to church will go, the rest of us will not go anyway,
Nathan November 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Yes, most stores should close Thanksgiving. No, the government shouldn't be dictating that they have to. The LAW part of this is outdated!

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