My nana told me Sundays were for family and stores would be closed too. Why was that?

In our fast-paced world, where the hustle never seems to stop, it’s easy to get nostalgic for simpler times. Remember those lazy Sundays spent playing board games with siblings after a delicious potluck lunch? My nana used to tell me that Sundays were for family, and even the stores would be closed. This practice, which might seem quaint or inconvenient today, has deep historical roots that offer valuable insights into the past and potentially, our own well-being.


A Day Rooted in Tradition


Sunday as a day of rest and family time isn’t solely a Christian tradition. Many cultures across history have designated a specific day for religious observance, reflection, and community. This emphasis on slowing down and connecting goes beyond just religious belief – it’s woven into the fabric of social structures.


Family Time: More Than Just Sundays

So why were stores closed on Sundays? Back then, Sundays were a chance for families to gather, attend church services together, and simply enjoy each other’s company. It was a time to strengthen family bonds and create lasting memories, free from the distractions of work and commercial activities. Imagine leisurely afternoons spent picnicking in the park, reading stories together, or simply enjoying a quiet conversation – a stark contrast to the constant busyness of modern life.

Benefits Beyond Family

Beyond strengthening families, closed Sundays offered another benefit: a shared day of rest for everyone. Many small business owners themselves wanted a day of rest. By closing on Sundays, they ensured both themselves and their employees could recharge. This created a sense of community downtime, synchronizing schedules and allowing everyone to slow down. In various countries, Sunday closing laws (also known as blue laws) were even enacted to enforce these practices.

A Shift in Practices

The landscape of Sundays has undoubtedly changed. With the rise of the 24/7 economy, the demand for services and goods at all times increased. Businesses began to see the potential for profits on Sundays, leading to a gradual shift away from closing. As societies became more diverse, the observance of a strict day of rest became less universally relevant. The melting pot of different religions and cultures meant that the uniform closure of businesses was less practical.

Work-Life Balance in the Modern Age

The concept of work-life balance has also evolved. While some people still cherish Sundays as a family day, others see it as an opportunity for leisure activities including shopping and entertainment that weren’t readily available to previous generations.

Lessons Learned from Nana’s Wisdom

There’s wisdom to be gleaned from my nana’s advice. While it’s no longer common for stores to close on Sundays, setting aside dedicated time for family and rest remains just as important. Taking a break from the daily grind can have positive benefits for our mental well-being, reducing stress and improving focus. Perhaps in reading about this tradition, we might find ways to incorporate some of its benefits into our busy lives. Maybe it’s a shared family breakfast, a game night, or simply putting away our phones for an afternoon. Reconnecting with loved ones and taking a break can be a gift to ourselves and our families.

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