Sorry, We’re Closed for the Holidays


Samantha Krueger, Contributor

Should businesses be open for the holidays? Well, it’s likely that that’s too general of a question. “Businesses” is too general of a term as is “holidays.” So before we dive into this, let’s break these down.

Business is simply any place that offers goods or services in exchange for money, so we can divide this into medical facilities, stores, and restaurants. As for holidays, we’ll make that any day where there is a widely recognized holiday taking place, like Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Now, because Hanukkah and Kwanzaa cover several days and Christmas only covers one, there is a wide range of days that are qualified as holidays, sixteen to be exact. That’s over half the month, with two instances of holidays lasting at least a week. It would definitely be hard for American businesses to remain closed for this long and would likely be detrimental for people who need to get groceries, medicine, or gifts. So let’s go over what probably should and shouldn’t be open throughout the month of December. 

For starters, medical facilities should be open; one hundred percent of the 26 people surveyed agreed. This includes but isn’t limited to vets, pharmacies, and hospitals. From personal experience, just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that bad things can’t happen. I had a cat who needed medical attention on Christmas Eve, and every vet in Madison was closed for the holidays. It is unfortunate, however, that nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and vets wouldn’t be able to spend the entire day with their families these days. They definitely should be paid extra for working the holidays, but they work in an environment focused on emergencies and should be prepared for them to show up any time.

Thirty-five percent of the people surveyed suggested that restaurants should not be open on holidays, while the other sixty-five percent said the opposite. Some people like to go out to eat on holidays, but Denise Dayton and Jayne Thompson have stated that Christmas specifically is one of the slowest days of the year for most restaurants. Again, it would be hard to close restaurants for up to a week at a time for holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, and December is a fairly busy month, but forcing staff to work slow days when they have a holiday to celebrate doesn’t seem particularly logical or understanding. Employers should, at the very least, be understanding of their employees’ religious and ethnic holidays.

Stores are a bit of a messier category. While it is true that “some stores have essential items”, and there may be emergency situations, it’s important to keep in mind that all businesses, stores included, should be “keeping in mind what is respectful to [their] workers.”

Overall, should businesses be open during the holidays? It depends on the business. It depends on the workers and what the business is providing and how big the business is. There is no issue with things being open or closed on any day in December, just as long as everyone is respectful to those with holidays, patrons and employees included. You should still be able to pick up that prescription for your cat and grab some paper towels and maybe a sandwich before heading home, especially those without holidays.