GREENFIELD — Steve Coram plans to spend Christmas as he always does: at home with his family.
Despite a change in law that allows stores and restaurants to sell alcohol on Christmas for the first time since before prohibition, the owner of Chilly’s Liquor in Greenfield said he won’t open his doors.
His employees deserve the time off to spend with their families, a sentiment echoed by others in the booze business. Most local liquor stores, along with Marsh, Walmart and Kroger, have opted to stay closed Christmas Day to give their employees time off. So residents looking to purchase alcohol for the holiday will have to plan ahead. Most stores will be open Christmas Eve.
Alcohol sales, whether in a store or at a restaurant, in Indiana have been banned on Christmas Day for decades. But this year, a change in state law allows Indiana residents to buy alcohol at any restaurant, bar, liquor store or grocery store that’s open on Christmas.
Previously, alcohol couldn’t be sold between 3 a.m. Dec. 25 and 7 a.m. Dec. 26. The holiday was the only day, besides Sunday, alcohol purchases were prohibited in Indiana.
Coram’s not a fan of the change. Opening his store on West Main Street on Christmas means his employees would have to come to the store.
“I think it’s horrible,” he said. “The day should be for rest and family. I wouldn’t make my family work on Christmas. I’m not going to do it to (the employees).”
In Greenfield, Chilly’s Liquor, Greenfield Liquors and Lucky Liquors will be closed Christmas Day. Fortville’s Elite Beverages also will be closed.
Corporation-wide, Lu-cky Liquors, which has a store on State Street in Greenfield, also is staying closed to give employees time off, said store manager Dan Neer, who is happy he’ll have time away from work to celebrate the holiday with family.
The store could open on Christmases in the future, he said, if the company’s owners choose, but not in 2016, when Christmas falls on a Sunday.
Ralph Spears, manager at Greenfield Liquors, said Tuesday he just learned of the law change this week. The store’s owner is out of town, so there were no plans to open.
For Coram, Christmas Eve has always been one of his store’s busiest days, and December is generally his busiest time of year. He even extends his hours on Christmas Eve to accommodate last-minute shoppers. But he won’t ever be extending those hours into Christmas, he said.
“It’s just sad,” he said. “I don’t buy anything on Christmas because it’s the one day of the year people shouldn’t have to work.”