Yesterday was Thanksgiving, a time of year in the United States when people give thanks for all of the good things they have. It is a big holiday here and people get together with their families for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and watch football. I often give thanks for the fact that it is one of the few holidays that has not been over commercialized with lots of tacky products that the retail stores expect everyone to buy. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is followed by Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving and is the biggest waste of time ever.
The problem that I have with this day is that it encourages people to buy as much stuff as possible, most of which they cannot afford. It is supposed to represent the first day of the shopping season in the build up to Christmas. What it really does is encourage people to spend too much money on stuff that is often not needed or wanted, with the result of that come January people will find themselves in too much debt.
I look at the paper today and find it full of flyers from just about every big box retail store telling me about their sales and special deals. Often, the deals refer to products that have been greatly reduced from their regular price, which seems like a great deal until you realize that the store(s) have, at most, five of the particular item in stock and that there are people who have been lining up outside the store since late on Thanksgiving Day just to get a chance to buy the the discounted stuff. This year, my nephew joined the line outside Kohl’s at 3am just to buy some of this cheap stuff. It turns out that he was not even the first in line and had to wait two hours until the store opened at 5am.
What is so sad is that this story is repeated every year at thousands of stores across the country. People wait hours in the cold just to get into the stores at some ridiculous hour in the hope of getting this year’s hot item. Most will be disappointed and will end up buying what they want at full price. Sometimes, in the mad rush to get in the store, people are injured and fights sometimes break out over particular items.
One person who will never get involved in this stupidity is me. I find this whole Black Friday business to be rather crass and undermines the true meaning of what the holiday season is all about. The people who take part in this over commercialized insanity should perhaps stop and take a moment to think about what they are doing. Do their friends and loved ones really need what they are trying to buy? If not I suggest that you keep your money or at least maybe buy a gift card so they can get what they want/need.
This year, Irene and I plan on a low key Christmas. We are not buying any gifts. Instead, we are just going to spend time together and be happy with that we have already got. Today, I got to sleep in and enjoy the fresh snow that had fallen yesterday. In addition to being “Black Friday” it is also “Buy Nothing Day,” which is a movement that protests the over commercialization of Western Society. I have decided to celebrate Buy Nothing Day. It’s pretty easy. On Black Friday, you buy nothing! Every year I intend to celebrate Buy Nothing Day by saving my money and buying nothing