Every year the stores advertize for Black Friday, offering crazy deals on the lastest craze, but only while supplies last. Every year we are treated to crazy, rude, and sometimes violent people as a back drop to start the Christmas season. The Christmas season.....a time to remember the greatest gift given, a time of peace, good will toward men. This year seems particularly egregious because, instead of at least taking a break from the mayhem to be grateful for what we have, the Black Friday maddness started even on Thanksgiving. It's sad really. Part of the blame I am sure, lays with the store purposely dangling the carrot before the public to turn us into crazed animals intent only on obtaining "the prize". You know who else gets the blame? We do. A public that willingly succumbs to the stores taunts and throws our better selves away for one more.....thing, gadget, trinket.
Now don't get me wrong. Not everyone acts like apes. I will concede that point, but more and more we are becoming a comsumerist society; basing our status on what we have rather than who we are. I will confess I look at the ads to see if there is anything to tempt me to venture forth, but more often than not I stay home. Long ago, before it got too crazy out there, I would go out for the Black Friday shopping. Then it was fun. You would wait in line, striking up a conversation with others around you. Sometimes ads would get passed around so everyone could get one more look. The doors would open and we would pour in, but rather than trample each other to get to something, we were allies, helping each other get what we wanted for Christmas. Fast forward some years, and I am dissappointed in what it has become. For that reason I opted out of Black Friday shopping at the store a few years ago. I opted out of Thanksgiving shopping all together. I started some of my Christmas shopping in my Pj's with a cup of coffee at a reasonable hour this morning and then proceeded to put on Christmas music and decorate my house for Christmas. You know what? I still got good deals on gifts for Christmas. I am happy to have started my Christmas shopping (with a budget of course).
Is there a way we can get back to what Christmas really means and get that special gift for a loved one and do it on a budget? Yes, and it doesn't take the government passing a law. Stand your ground and don't fall for the hype and craziness ginned up by stores. The great thing about a Free Market is we dictate which direction it goes. If we willingly throw Thanksgiving away, and make a mad dash for the latest new thing, then they will give us exactly what we want. But if we stay home on Thanksgiving and treat each other with courtesy and kindness then they will accommodate that as well. No item purchased at a store is worth the behavior seen on Black Friday. No excuses.
Okay, I will give my soap box back now.