It seems that each year Black Friday gets worse. This year, reports are that four people died (including a Wal-Mart employee who was trampled to death), and nearly a hundred were injured, all on Black Friday.
The day is earning its name.
Even worse, Black Friday isn’t just a single day. This year it started Thanksgiving day (Thursday). And now, as I write this early Tuesday morning, there are still ads for “Black Friday weekend” or “Black Friday week” sales that are still going on. Really?
They say this year’s shopping season is short. Really? Who sets what the shopping season is, or should be?
Okay, I get it that many retailers plan on all those revenues between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Perhaps they should plan better?
I also understand that people want irresistable deals. Crave them. Will fight for them. Will even die for them.
I’m glad that I’m not in the retail business.
I’m glad that I don’t rely on exploiting the greed of my customers, and exploiting the toil of impoverished third-world workers who are paid only pennies.
I’m glad that I don’t feel compelled to “shop till I drop.” There is nothing they have to sell, and no deal they could offer, that would get me out there shopping on Black Friday.
In fact, the whole retail exploitation thing gets me so angry that I’m about half an inch away from a total “Bah, Humbug!” attitude toward everything that happens after Thanksgiving and right up to Christmas.
Christmas, I love. I arrived on the planet near Christmas. It’s a day of joy and giving. At Thanksgiving, we give thanks. At Christmas, we give joy. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Children should not view Christmas as a competition for who gets the most presents, or the biggest, or the most expensive.
Adults should not compete with each other to see who can be the most extravagant, either.
It used to be that families took out a Christmas Club account at the bank, and set aside a little money each week, all year long. Then, a few weeks before Christmas, there’s a bunch of money to buy presents for the family. When the money is gone, the shopping ends. You had to work out a plan, and stick to it.
Now, everything goes on plastic. Have you seen how bad the debt problem is in America? How is it at your house? You can’t spend your way out of debt.
Did you know that you could pay as much as $8,400 for a $2,500 shopping spree that you put on your credit card, if you just pay your monthly minimum – and that it will take you 28 years to pay it? Will you only celebrate Christmas once every 28 years? No way.
I hope we can all get back to some Holiday-related sanity! Can we please focus on the Holiday and not the scurrying and spending?
The best Christmasses I’ve had were simple, sometimes even accidental. Joyful and relaxed time spent with family and friends is more valuable than any present you could possibly purchase.
I wish you a simple, peaceful and joyful Christmas season!