THE Holiday of the Year!

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We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, yesterday. The only time we went out to the store was an emergency run for a carton of milk. My husband said the store was unusually crowded as if they had woken up and suddenly realized it was Thanksgiving and they had company coming for dinner. We wanted a family and friends day at home. Although we do ‘observe’ leftover turkey today this Friday, we don’t participate in the shopping rages going on at all the stores and malls beginning early this morning. I will get up early for church. I can get myself out of bed to catch a plane. I will lose sleep in order to get children to work and school. I will not get up and go to the stores at four in the morning to stand out in the cold, pushed up against masses of strangers to save a few dollars on items I probably don’t even need.

We read in the paper about some people who have been camped out since earlier in the month in order to be first in line at some electronics store. We watch the news clips of the people pouring into store doors before the doors are hardly opened, risking life and limb for the almighty bargain.

I’m a year-round shopper and am always on the look out for a good deal. By the time the Black Friday sales begin, I’m already done with my Christmas shopping. I think that if I compared savings with a Black Friday shopper, I’d probably find I saved as much as they did without trampling anyone in the process.

One year, my daughter and I went to Walmart in the afternoon on a Black Friday when the crowds had gone home for the most part. We stepped into the store and the floor was literally piled with discarded items. They had a circle of shopping carts which numbered more than 30 filled with items that needed to be returned to the shelves. As we wandered through the store in horrid fascination, we actually saw some remnants of the early morning mob still poking through items, tearing open sealed boxes, inspecting it, and then tossing box and item back on the floor. Obviously, these Black Friday lemmings don’t know the first thing about how a business works and missed any economics class that might have been offered in their youth. The more that is destroyed in the process of their greedy, disrespectful scavenger hunt, the higher the cost of merchandise next cycle. Someone has to pay for the damaged/stolen items in a store and that loss is figured in how much is charged the next time the shelves are stocked.

Like anyone else, I like a bargain but I don’t want to lose my dignity in obtaining it. Greed is also a seed in the human makeup and that’s all I see in the crowds whose greed grows as they push and shove their fellow man in order to get every bargain they want for their own.

“O covetousness, so hasty to submerge
Mortals, that each and all are powerless
To draw their eyes forth from they blinding surge!”

-Dante, 14th century

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