So first we'll deal with Black Friday. That's pretty simple. I don't participate! Several reasons really. First and foremost, I just can't handle the crowds, commercialism and greed. Now I don't mean that if you participate you are not a nice person. I just mean that the advertising, allurement and exploitation seems to me to be designed to get people to spend more than they can afford and buy so much stuff they don't really need. I'm all for a good sale -- and I clip coupons etc. but aren't the manufacturers and stores just trying to take advantage of people who can't resist a sale, while they make big bucks? Starting sales Thanksgiving evening or in the middle of the night is a bit much. Now you can tell I'm a Pastor's wife! I don't want to spoil any body's fun, but I have seen too many of those for whom Christmas means going into huge debt or is a depressing time because they either didn't get what they wanted or couldn't get something for someone else. Some people may think Pastors and their wives are insulated from the seamier side of life, but actually we probably see more of it than others because we are so often trying to help many people deal with the consequences. It's sad.
All of which leads nicely into one of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions. For about the past ten years we have taken our main vacation at Thanksgiving. For one thing it solves the problem of which side of the family our sons will celebrate with. We'll be away. It also means for me, that it shortens the frantic lead up to Christmas. Oh, I'm such a Grinch!
So we spent Black Friday at our favorite vacation spot on Kauai, in the pool and the jacuzzi -- and if that seems extravagant after my rant above, remember Hawaii is only six hours away from us.
I don't participate in Black Friday either, Chris. I don't remember ever being upset or disappointed for not getting a gift. There have been quite a few years where I've not "gotten" a thing for Christmas. That said, I love buying presents for everyone else. I only pay cash these days, no more credit cards (Yay!). What is available dictates what or how much I can buy. In fact, I find that my favorite way to shop is online. Much less hassle! Anyway, I really wish that everyone...anyone remembers that it is the birth of Christ that we are celebrating.
It seems that as a society we put a price tag on everything...even love. The higher the dollar value of the gift, the more the love is worth.
"Jesus is the reason for the season"
There is a big push here, for keeping Christ in CHRISTmas, and I am all for that. People can call this season what they want, as long as we believers can call it what WE want! There have already been two acts of vandalism against nativity displays here - one in front of the Salvation Army. The figures were made of concrete, and all the heads were smashed off - there was obviously a great deal of anger involved.
Christmas cards are sometimes hard to find; everything is 'Holiday' greetings, yet Christmas carols (the real ones!) have been playing in supermarkets and malls since the beginning of November!
I think it's a good idea to have Christmas on a different day - I am all for that!
In our house we solve the Christmas shopping situation by shopping all year round, so that by the time the sseason arrives, it's pretty much done, and actually with so much more thought given to it!
What a curious name for a shopping spree. We have nothing like it in the UK. Most 'Black' days are recalling something terrible, like Black Sunday in Northern Ireland or Black Tuesday when Wall Street crashed. Since many US citizens spend so much during Black Friday, many bank accounts must go into the red, so perhaps Black Friday is followed by Red Monday when the bank statement arrives. Don't worry about words like 'gotten', it has gotten over here too. We are mostly bi-lingual in the UK and understand American almost as well as English.
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