I agree with those who say that it is sad that Thanksgiving has turned into “Black Friday Eve”, but I still participate in the after-holiday purchasing chaos. I know, I know, you can call me a hypocrite. Honestly though, I have nothing else really going on the day after Thanksgiving, so why not take advantage of some good deals? Even Stephen goes with me! (He is my best shopping buddy.) I take interest in watching the people bustle about, frantically looking for the deal of the century. It is human nature at its worst.
This Black Friday, though, I did something I have never done before. I got up at 3:30 in the morning to go to an early bird sale across from our apartment complex. It will also be the last time I get up so ridiculously early for such a vain thing. The line of women waiting for the doors to open went to the end of the parking lot. By the time I got in the store, all the shopping carts were gone. There was a quiet sound of women rushing to different departments to get their desired deals. I have never heard anything so eerie in my life. I actually started feeling guilty for getting up so early for such a vain thing. One man was with his wife, and I could hear him say, “I’m just here to watch all these women hoard all this stuff like they already own it.” He was SO right! And I was participating in it.
I got my reward though- after waiting in the checkout line for over half an hour, I made it outside only to get a call from my sister saying that she had just gotten to the store, and would I come back in? I love my sister, so I did. I went through the store again. I didn’t get home until 7:30 AM. I slept for an hour and then went about my day… Saturday’s results were a headache and a “pajama day”. Not worth it.
Black Friday really brings out all the selfishness in people. I saw women upset about their spot in lines. I saw people hoarding things to the point that other people couldn’t even get at them. I saw that people had already forgotten what they celebrated the day before. It was sad. It was a good lesson on human depravity. Selfishness really is the spirit of the season in America.
I want to teach my girls what the true meaning of this season is…. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. It is not about what we can get, but what we give. It’s about how we treat people. It is about rejoicing in the birth of the Promised Messiah, who saves the souls of sinful men. It is about sharing that Message with others. It is about reflection. It is about instilling behaviors and attitudes that will be practiced all year round. The holidays are really the antithesis of selfishness. I pray that I will remember that, and that my children will learn it as well.
Now that I have confessed my faults, I can get on with truly practicing what this season is all about.