The Holiday Season Begins

Posted: November 29, 2011 in General Musings, Holidays
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ll start with the disclaimer that I do in fact love the Christmas season. I love the family time, the gift giving, the baking, the decorating, the lights, everything. I am no Grinch. But there are things I don’t like, Black Friday chief among them.

I slept in on Black Friday. Not because I’m lazy and I want to avoid the lines. I slept in because I disagree with everything Black Friday stands for and has come to represent.

  1. The stores opening “early.” Really? People can’t wait the extra six hours to get their deals? And because people can’t wait, other people have to work on Thanksgiving? I know the stores opened very late on Thursday, but anyone who worked that shift most likely slept for a while before going, which is a much bigger cut into family time. There’s nothing to stop the stores from continuing to open earlier every year, either. It’s hard to believe that shopping has gained this level of importance for people.
  2. The dangerous conditions and people. People have gotten trampled, beaten, and even killed at the hands (and feet) of Black Friday shoppers. I don’t think it has as much to do with the actual value of the deals as it does the expectation and mindset the people have going into the whole experience. Must get toys. Must get TVs. Family won’t love if no have these things. Christmas be ruined! People can become dangerous when they shut their minds off.
  3. The idea that people have to get these things. These are not necessary items that people lose their minds over. Heck, most of the big deals aren’t even personally valuable. Who opens a brand new TV on Christmas and thinks, Oh my! I can’t believe this person knows me so well as to get me something this personally relevant! Sure, it could happen. But, really, how often? This isn’t to say that people who shop on Black Friday never get personal, thoughtful gifts. I’m sure most of these people have good intentions behind their purchases. But it’s still not altogether necessary. I would love to get a Kindle, which would be a personal, thoughtful gift for me, but it’s not something I really need. I’d be just as happy with a date to go see a movie.
  4. The excess in general. All the crowds, the pushing, the frenetic shopping make my stomach turn. I’m not good with crowds anyway, but the idea that the crowd around me has turned off rational thought to redirect blood flow to the shopping part of the brain is a little scary to me. I don’t trust excess of any kind. There’s something sinister in it.
  5. The pushiness. Buy now or you’ll regret it! Christmas has to be huge this year! You don’t like Christmas if you don’t like shopping on Black Friday! Come one, just loosen up and be like everyone else! It’s fun! No. No, it’s not fun, and I’m enough of a wet blanket to say I don’t care what everyone else is doing. I don’t like to be told what I like or need, that I only have today to get a deal, or that I should go along with everyone else even though the whole experience makes me sick to my stomach, because none of those things are true. I know best what I like, not some advertisement. Black Friday does not, in fact, offer the best deals of the whole year, and even if it did, you can get good deals most of the time anyway because stores want your business and will do almost anything to get it. And as for going along with everyone else: why? I’m not everyone else, so why should I have to go along with them for their benefit when I’m clearly morally opposed to the whole thing? Don’t let yourself get pressured into sex or drugs, kids, but shopping is a whole different story!

I understand that a lot of people like Black Friday; after all, it wouldn’t be Black Friday if mobs of people didn’t participate. But I have a deep aversion to it, I understand my reasons for disliking it, and I insist that my dislike for it should not be unfairly categorized as “no fun” or “dislikes Christmas.” That’s all I’m saying.


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