Traditionally, Thanksgiving was an undisputed holiday for just about everybody, save for emergency workers and football players. However, these past few years, many major companies have realized that if they close on Thanksgiving, they don’t make money that day. And if there’s anything a multi-billion dollar conglomerate hates, it’s those horrible minutes and seconds where no extra dollars enter their already-bulging pockets.

“My Gucci slacks have never felt so empty.”

And so, companies like Walmart, Target, and Staples are opening on Thanksgiving, sometimes as early as 6 AM. Even Macy’s, who typically devotes Thanksgiving to parading instead of working, will open on Turkey Day. So if you’re in New York City, you can now spend your morning gawking at giant balloons shaped like Garfield and Buzz Lightyear, and spend the evening buying expensive pants. Just as God intended.

Employees are not happy about this trend, and neither is a good chunk of the population. Yes, roughly a quarter of us shop on Thanksgiving (even though watching the Detroit Lions lose never gets old), but the vast majority do not. And many of them are disgusted with companies that not only open on Thanksgiving, but literally force employees to come in to work.

Not every company subscribes to this brand of ultra-capitalism however. Several big-name chains are refusing to open on Thanksgiving and are reaping the public relations for doing so. If you must work retail, try to get in with these companies. These CEOs all deserve extra gravy on their potatoes.

1. Costco

The bulk retailer has no interest in opening on Thanksgiving, and even less interest in giving a corporate spin on the decision. Their VP of marketing, Paul Latham, came right out and said, “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season, and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that.”

There was no talk of money, and no passive-aggressive guilt tripping of employees who would rather spend time at home during a holiday than pushing around giant dollies filled with diapers. Just a simple acknowledgement of what you would think was basic common sense.

2. Nordstrom

The act that Nordstrom — an expensive clothing store — closes on Thanksgiving, while Macys — a company that sells largely the same stuff — is open, should say a lot about which company actually cares about its workers. Nordstrom’s reasoning is slightly more financial than Costco’s, with spokesman Colin Johnson explaining that Black Friday has never been the company’s most profitable period (the anniversary sale every July is their true cash cow.) Therefore, they can close Thanksgiving and still do just fine.

So if you work there, and live for Fourth of July fireworks, tough!

That being said, they also recognize the human side of closing on Turkey Day. According to Johnson, “Over the years we’ve heard a lot from our customers, and they appreciate that we take this approach.” Their employees undoubtedly do too.

3. BJ’s

Costco isn’t the only bulk retailer to close on Thanksgiving; BJ’s Wholesale Club takes the day off as well. As CEO Laura Sen put it, “What makes BJ’s Wholesale Club exceptional is its nearly 26,000 team members … when I am fortunate enough to sit down with my friends and family for a scrumptious Thanksgiving feast … I will be thankful for the many blessings … and also for BJ’s members and team members, who I hope are also sitting around a Thanksgiving feast with those who they care about most.”

Her statement hits home double, as few things enrage the average worker more than knowing that they have to work Thanksgiving while the big corporate heads get to sit at home and eat pumpkin pie. An acknowledgement from the head of the company that, for at least one day of the year, everyone on the payroll is equal, goes a long way to ensuring great PR for the rest of the year.

4. American Girl

Of all the companies staying closed for Thanksgiving, American Girl probably makes the most sense. After all, they’re a company based around dolls that look like children; you can’t get much more family-oriented than that. So naturally, they would rather see families together on Thanksgiving than having Mom wander around some store while their kids eat turkey with the babysitter.

But American Girl doesn’t stop there. Many companies that close on Thanksgiving still open as early as possible on Black Friday, and workers scheduled that day either have to chew and snooze, or work one of the busiest days of the year bleary-eyed and overtired. American Girl realizes this, and is treating Black Friday like any other day. They certainly have sales, but you won’t be able to partake in them until 9 AM, or possibly 10 AM depending on the store. This leaves workers well-rested, well-fed, and happy that they chose to work for such a caring company.

For the companies that open on Thanksgiving, it might be a case of choosing short-term profits vs. long-term goodwill. Or is the tide turning good on this holiday? For now, these are questions you need to be prepared to answer if you ask your employees to work on Thanksgiving.

Photo Credits: Bradley GordonDerek Key

Jason Iannone writes and edits for the entire Internet, more or less. He’s looking forward to watching the Lions lose just as much as you are.