JCPenney is making his wife work on Thanksgiving despite 30 years of service. He's done being quiet.

What comes to mind when you think of a Thanksgiving Day celebration?

Family? Food? Football? Those are, of course, the most common associations.


Maybe a simultaneous combination of the three? "Jimmy, don't f*%# this up! There's an entire turkey dinner riding on this play." Photo by Fort George G. Meade Public Relations Office/Flickr (altered).

If we're lucky, our jobs are the furthest things from our minds on Thanksgiving.

But with companies vying for a chunk of that sweet, sweet holiday spending, Thanksgiving has devolved into something more like Black Friday Eve, putting millions of workers on the clock instead of with their families.

"No, ma'am. These are tears of joy. I want nothing more than to help you find the perfect shower head. On Thanksgiving." Photo via iStock.

Amid the chaos of the season, it can be easy to forget that the folks helping us are people, too. People who would almost certainly rather be eating with their families than feeding our voracious consumer appetites on Thanksgiving Day.

A growing movement wants to "save" Thanksgiving by pressuring companies to close for the holiday.

Bill Nichols' wife has worked for JCPenney for over 30 years. After decades of loyalty, you'd figure she would have the pick of the crop when it comes to holiday schedules.

But she's working this Thanksgiving — and not by choice.

Photo by Azt3r1x/Wikimedia Commons.

Angry and disappointed, Nichols started a petition on Change.org calling for JCPenney to close for Thanksgiving, and so far, he has more than 80,000 signatures. He hasn't heard from the company, and he's not holding his breath for them to do the right thing.

But he's not going quietly. "Our values of family are given up one step at a time," said Nichols. "Being open on Thanksgiving Day is one of those steps, and I will not accept it without voicing my opinion."

We asked him what he thinks is the best way to get involved beyond signing a petition. His answer was simple: "Don't shop on Thanksgiving Day."

JCPenney isn't the only company being targeted. According to Shareeza Bhola, senior communications manager for Change.org, almost 100 petitions have been launched against companies like Target, Walmart, and Macy's for opening on Thanksgiving.

"Save Thanksgiving" petitioners have also found surprising allies within the retail community.

Bhola points to a list of national retailers that announced they're closing on Thanksgiving Day. But one company is going even further.

Photo by Chris Phan/Flickr.

Outdoor gear co-op Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is staying closed through Black Friday. If you're wondering why, their 30-second ad pretty much speaks for itself.

They want customers to #OptOutside by venturing into nature instead of shopping malls on Black Friday and to share photos and stories to inspire others to do the same.

As a reminder of what people lose when they have to work on holidays, Change.org made a video with some folks who know what it's like.

One participant, Jessica Risco, worked in food service and retail for 10 years. She told Upworthy that during the holidays she and her coworkers often had to choose between their economic security and their families.

All GIFs from Change.org/YouTube.

"For a lot of people," Risco says, "it's the choice between paying bills and maintaining employment and being with family and friends."

Brandon Worthy is an Iraq war veteran who spent a few holidays on active duty, which gave him greater appreciation for family time.

"I was deployed in Iraq … I spent a couple of holidays over there, including Thanksgiving. When the holidays come around, where it's all about family ... you really, really take it seriously, because everything is precious."

He tells Upworthy he'd like to see more "compassion for those who wish to spend their holidays with their families" and more peaceful protest against companies that can — but don't — offer their employees that simple dignity.

Another participant, a retail worker named Tre', says he doesn't mind working holidays, but he wants shoppers to bear in mind the sacrifice he makes to be there for them.

In other words, don't be a jerk. There are enough of those in the world. Among them are the kinds of people who make other people work on Thanksgiving.

Watch the video by Change.org:

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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