When did everything start staying open for Christmas?

Does anyone else remember when literally everything was closed on Christmas, even gas stations? If somehow you were out of luck and had to cancel Christmas dinner plans you wound up having to drive 20 miles to find the nearest place that was still open. Now however pretty much every fast food place, restaurant, and gas station remains open Christmas day which now makes it feel like any other day.

I still remember at least in 2000 everything was still closed. There was a small fire at my grandparents house and instead of going there like we usually do for Christmas dinner we had to now suddenly scrounge for ourselves and we have no meals ready for back-up, so we wound up driving for an hour around our city looking for a single place that was open. We wound up having to drive 30 minutes to a Denny’s we found was still open and that was the only place we saw with any activity outside of it. Not even gas stations were open since our backup plan was gas station cheeseburgers and we couldn’t even find an AMPM or 7-11 still open.

Where I am there are places that still close on Christmas. Grocery stores, fast food places, evern Wal-Mart. For the latter it’s the one day they DO close. I’m not sure about sit down restaurants, my family eats at home for the holiday. There’s a Walgreens near me that stays open, it’s 24/7 anyway. I sure hope they overcompensate their workers.

That is one of those things that depends on where you live. I could find a sit down restaurant open on Thanksgiving and Christmas sooner than I could find a fast-food restaurant open both now and in 2000. But then again, I live in a place where gas station cheeseburgers makes no sense to me, because gas stations may have a convenience store but it’s not 7-11 or Sheetz or anything else that serves hot food.

I don’t know, but I think it’s part of a broader trend, where we’ve gradually been evolving into a 24-7-365 world. Businesses that used to be open only during the day started opening in the evenings. Businesses that didn’t used to be open on the weekend started staying open on Saturday, then on Sunday, limited hours, then all day. It used to be rare for stores and restaurants to be open late at night, let alone 24 hours a day, but it started becoming more and more common. More businesses are open on holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Day, New Year’s Eve & Day, etc. TV stations used to sign off at night, and if you were awake in the middle of the night, there’d be no TV to watch.

I lived in a rural area so there was always the truck stop where you could get food (it had a restaurant) and it was always 24/7 as long as I can remember.

We also had a 7-11 open. I do recall in the late 80s, (by then I moved to the city) the White Hen was closed Christmas.

You also have to remember a lot of people aren’t Christians and don’t care. As for the jobs, I deal with this a lot and a lot of the stores, don’t give any holiday pay so, while some good intentioned people say “Stores should give Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving and so on, off to their employees,” what they fail to realize is that all that amounts to is an employee losing a day’s pay.

Remember even Scrooge paid Cratchit for Christmas day but a lot of employers don’t.

We must live in two different parts of the country. The only things I see open on Christmas Day are convenience stores, sit-down restaurants, which makes sense as not everybody likes to cook, especially on Christmas, and gas stations, which also makes sense as there’s a lot of road travel. Pretty much every fast food place is closed. I am a little surprised to see some McDonald’s are open; I remember seeing signs saying something like, “So McDonald’s employees can share Christmas with their families, McDonald’s will be closed on Christmas Day.”

In the northeast at least, Chinese restaurants were always open on Christmas and it was a cliche for Jews to go out for Chinese on that day. Still is, AFAIK.

In Montreal, the markets are open 363 days a year but close on Christmas and New Years. The mall nearest us is locked up tight. You can’t even mall-walk.

When I first came to Montreal, store hours were rigidly regulated. No Sunday openings (some exceptions for convenience stores) and food markets were open noon-6PM on Mondays, 9AM - 6 PM, Tues-Thur, 9AM-9PM, Fri, and 9AM-5PM Sat. Now our nearest market is 8AM-9PM every day. I don’t know of any 24 hour market though. The only thing I am aware of that is open 24 hours is Dunkin Donuts, which is why I don’t begrudge the cops frequenting them. When you gotta go, you gotta go.

…at least it did when I lived there 5 or so years ago. The whole country shuts down…No, transport – buses and trains stop…most stores aren’t open…

Around here (the Midwest) everything is closed on Christmas except for a few gas station/convenience stores. There are probably a few Chinese takeout places and sit-down restaurants open, but they don’t boast about it.

I consider this the 7-eleven mentality: Every store must be open 24/7/365, though I think 7-eleven is the only chain that actually does it.

I don’t recall any fast-food restaurants around here that are open Christmas Day and only a handful of restaurants. There are Indian casinos in town and their eateries are, of course, open. Other than that, I don’t remember anything else open, but then I don’t use the interstate highways.

DesertRoomie worked as an assistant manager at a gas station and Christmas Day was the one day they were closed. The store would close at 8pm Christmas Eve then she and the manager would spend about an hour sending a last report to Corporate, bagging and locking the hose nozzles down, then finally wrapping a chain around the door handles and padlocking that as well.

The two of us would then stop at Waffle House, about the only thing open that late, and have a late dinner. I’d tip the pair working there, one server and one line cook, ten bucks each.

There are a surprising number of restaurants open in my adopted hometown of Tacoma (pop. 200 thousand) on Christmas Day. Not listed are multiple Jack in the Boxes, Sharis and IHOPs open that day too. Even a local Safeway is open for limited hours.

Then why are there locks on the doors?

(Old joke–probably Steven Wright.)

No one here has ever gone to the movies on Christmas? I can’t remember a time when the movies were not open on Christmas, that’s a *huge *day for the box office!

TRY-N-SAVE is open.

Oddly enough, the UK has been going the opposite way over the last 50 years or so, particularly since public transport closes down for the day, and a great many people take time off between Christmas and New Year"s Day. You stay put from some time in Christmas Eve till Boxing Day or the day after.

Thanksgiving Day up until about 2pm is the busiest. Probably all the cooks getting the idlers out from underfoot.

I second the movie theaters on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Owing to my Christmas experiences growing up, once gifts were opened, and this was pre internet, people realized we would rather be somewhere else so why nitya movie?

Yes, London is the only place I’ve ever been where you really can’t get anywhere on Christmas without a big hassle, since there’s no public transit on that day. Everywhere else they at least run a Sunday/holiday service.

Just remember if you go in a store on a holiday and say to an employee “sorry you guys have to work”, remember you are part of the reason they have to work. If there were no customers the business wouldn’t be open.