Why can't we have Christmas all year long?"

It's a question excited young children have been known to ask after Santa's visits.

Exhausted parents might take that time to remind them of the meaning of Christmas, what Dec. 25 symbolizes to them and how exchanging gifts is just a small part of the tradition.

And the answer usually includes this bit of wisdom: "If every day was Christmas, it wouldn't be special, now would it?"

Shopping days, though?

Whoa -- we can't get enough of them.

No, of course it's not about the presents, but you'd have to be insane to pass up some of these sales.

They're doorbusters -- don't you understand?

One day only.

Maybe two.

Could be three next year, if we make it worth the retailers' time.

It's easy to say chains like Walmart and Target are sucking the joy out of the season with carnival-barker sales pitches that begin earlier every year.

Why, they're even forcing employees to give up time with family on Thanksgiving, just to make an extra dollar.

But they wouldn't be selling if people weren't buying.

They wouldn't have started opening at midnight on Black Fridays if people hadn't stood in line for hours in previous years for the 5 a.m. openings.

Midnight sales were such a hit, who could blame the retail honchos for testing the waters Thanksgiving evenings?

They must have figured if it was too much, people would let them know.


The shoppers would just stay home with family and -- wow, look at that crowd!

Yes, the big boxes are only giving us what we want. And we want stuff, at rock-bottom prices -- even at the expense of family gatherings.

Not you?

Then opt out this year -- stay home, avoid the crowds and do your shopping on Cyber Monday. (Yes, another commercial ploy, but the deals are just as great and it's a lot more convenient.)

It's time to send a message.

If enough people do that, the stores might change their ways and allow us and their employees some peace at home on Thanksgiving.

Or maybe not. In which case, we can only try to tune out the ruckus.