This year, Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, November 24, and that day the Wayne Township Trustee Office will be closed so that our staff can take time to celebrate this holiday of gratitude that kicks off the season of winter festivities. The history of Thanksgiving is a long, varied and sometimes controversial story, but the bottom line is in its title: Giving Thanks, and the fourth Thursday of November is as good a time as any to reflect, not on what we lack but on what we have. As we often hear, gratitude is good for us and the more we practice it the healthier we can be.
Many offices also close on both Thanksgiving and the Friday after in order to treat their workers to a long weekend off, but as we have done every year since 2007, the Wayne Township Trustee Office will be open on Friday the 25th and available to the public to help with emergency needs. We don’t make appointments for that day as we work with just a skeleton crew of department directors, but our last trustee, Rick Stevenson, believed that it was important that our office not be closed for two days in a row, and Trustee Knox has continued that tradition. So if you have need of our services that day, please come see us.
While many offices are closed the Friday after Thanksgiving “Black Friday” has traditionally been one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Because retailers often expected to replace the red ink on their books with black, Black Friday marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Many employers give their staff that day off to let them start their holiday shopping—and to give a jump-start to the economy. In fact, Indiana is one of twenty-four states that have made “The Day after Thanksgiving” an official holiday for public employees. Virtually all retailers take advantage of the fact that people are off work by offering hard-to-resist sales and promotions to bring customers to their doors. Many stores also extend their hours in order to get a leg up on the competition. Special hours at big box stores might include opening as early as midnight the night before or even opening on Thanksgiving itself and staying open through the night starting their sale prices at midnight.
And after Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday. First observed in the United States in 2010, this informal holiday was designed to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize their local ‘brick and mortar’ businesses. The first such event was sponsored by American Express in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and was promoted in a nationwide radio and TV advertising campaign. Amex bought advertising space on Facebook to be used by its small-merchant account holders. The company also gave rebates to new customers to promote the event. Many local politicians and small business groups in the United States issued proclamations. The movement was a success, and Small Business Saturday has been going ever since.
Patronizing small and local businesses makes a lot of sense. Living and doing business on a local level is, after all, what township government and its services are all about. Cities, towns, and townships are run by the governments closest to the people. As with a locally-owned business, if you want to communicate with your local township trustee office you can call or visit and talk to someone person-to-person. Local governments and local businesses are the most accountable to the people because they are so accessible, and that accessibility makes them especially motivated to care about what you, the patron, have to say.
We hope you can enjoy the opening of the holiday season this Thanksgiving weekend. We’ll be starting our public festivities with our third annual Ham and Turkey Giveaway on December 15th when we hand out holiday meal items between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This event, supported by gifts from our local vendors in Wayne Township, is free to the public. So, give thanks this Thanksgiving and come see us in December or whenever the need arises. Happy Holidays!