Black Friday

By Cathy Thurber

For the second year in a row, my husband and I went out and braved the crowds during Black Friday sales.  Well, we didn’t exactly run into any crowds.  By the time we woke up and got out of the house Friday morning it was already 5:30am.  Most of the crowds had dispersed by then and we didn’t have to wait in any lines.  Which was good, as neither my hubby or I have any patience to wait in a line. 

Luckily, most of all the people we ran into were actually in good moods.  Unlike, from what I understand, other attitudes in cities around the United States.  There was a woman shot in the foot in South Carolina when thieves demanded her purse outside a Walmart.  A bomb scare shut down a store in Arizona when they found an explosive in a break room refrigerator.  And then, of course, there was the woman in Los Angeles who pepper-sprayed the people around her.  In order to get ahead of everyone and “competitively shop” she hurt people nearby – including children.  What kind of person does that?

How important is getting the $99 television set that you have to hurt people in order to do it?  Some shoppers are just getting out of hand, hurting others just to buy a thing and not feeling remorse.  I remember when I was much younger, hearing about moms getting into fist fights after standing in line for hours to buy a Cabbage Patch kid for their daughter.  So, this kind of behavior has been around for a while.  But, to pepper spray a crowd of people?  Really??  I think she took that competitive shopping up just a notch or two too high.

When did buying gifts for Christmas turn into this huge spectacle?  When did it become more important to be the gift giver than to be the receiver?  By that, I mean, when did being the person to give the BEST and most expensive gift become the thing to do?  I thought the purpose of giving a gift was to see the joy in the receiver’s face when they opened that gift up.  Instead I think it’s become more about what YOU feel when they receive that gift.  Did you just give them the gift?  Will they remember that you are the one that gave them the best present ever?

People.  Contrary to popular opinion, gift giving is not about you and your feelings.  It’s about the person you love receiving something unexpected that gives them joy.  If you want to stand in line for hours, or brave large crowds, or wake up early to shop, then that’s all well and good.  But, don’t turn it into something negative.  Have some patience, share some seasonal happiness with those around you….smile for God’s sake.  It’s the beginning of the Christmas season – you’ve got a whole month to get through.

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