Some Christmas shopping is obviously not for the faint of heart. Black Friday follows the day of after Thanksgiving, or so I am told. I refuse to participate. People die on Black Friday. There is simply enough stress in my life, and participating in a riot at 4 AM on a Friday morning trying to buy a $50 computer at a big box discounter is not my idea of a calm environment.
These events do not reflect anything other than man's venal foolishness and herd instinct.
Starting each and every morning with a pack of cigarettes, three fingers of bourbon and six cups of coffee would probably be better for me than attending these Black Friday melees. Unfortunately for those who do not like most of my columns but read them anyway, that is not how I start my day.
After Black Friday, things seem calmer and even joyful. Even everyday non-holiday shopping, from what I have observed, involves some kind of ritual pleasure.
Non-Christmas shoppers tend to move slower - there is some enjoyment in the process, but not to the degree there seems to be with Christmas shopping. During Christmas, there is something more going on than the matching of present to recipient and an exchange of money.
I have not made time this year, but often in the past I have made a point of visiting one of the premium metromess malls for lunch during Christmas season. For professional reasons, I used to have to spend more time in Dallas. It was convenient to stop in, have lunch and briefly watch people in Christmas shopping mode.
It warms a businessman's heart to watch affluent folks part with cash. It is the way things should be. Some money should be spent, some should be saved. Saved money helps banks have reserves to lend. Money spent creates profits and jobs. Ahh, the circle of life. But this is Christmas; something else is going on.
The key here is that during the Season all this shopping is usually for other people. There are all kinds of ways to look at Christmas shopping. The most important to me is that most of these shoppers are usually not out there for themselves. Grandmothers on arthritic knees are in sacrifice mode. They are doing for others.
That is what I really enjoyed during my previous lunchtime mall visits. There was something in the air other than just the spending of money.
Doing something material for others is not the same as sacrificing one's life for your creation, but in a humanly flawed way, maybe it really does reflect the Reason for the Season.
... written by ElHombre , December 26, 2010
Nothing will turn a retail worker into a full-blown marxist faster than working on Black Friday.
I anticipate interesting responses from those who do not get the joke.