Black Friday

Today is Black Friday, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, except Black Friday sometimes begins the evening before, with Thanksgiving continuing to get the squeeze. This is the part where the anti-materialist in me is supposed to rail against raging consumerism as our way “celebrating” the birth of the Christ child.

But I’m not going to do that. If Black Friday is your thing, then enjoy the day. It’s none of my business what you do with your time or money. There are many excellent deals to be had — if you can make it to the store on time before they run out.

I spent part of my Thanksgiving watching football. Every commercial break was littered with Black Friday advertisements, all of them designed to pique the interest and loosen the credit cards of the raging consumer hidden in all of us. Yet the raging consumer no longer exists in me. In fact, I’ve struggled to put together even a meager Christmas list this year.

Those of you who read this blog know my wife and I have spent the past year decluttering, getting rid of possessions we no longer use by the carload. So the last thing I want to ask for are more possessions. Nor do I want to ask for things just for the sake of asking for something. Likewise, when we shop, it’s for things we know the person for whom we are buying specifically asked for. Buying for the sake of buying is a terrible waste of resources. I no longer want to be guilty of that.

At any rate, not one of the Black Friday ads interested me. We literally have everything in the world we need or want. The oversized TV’s, jewelry, cars, laptops, gadgets, none of it intersts me. We already have those. They still work and serve their purpose marvelously. The few things I have asked for are specifically to replace similar items that have worn out and need replacing, or for consumable items. Sure, I could always ask for gift cards to my “Big Three”: Starbucks, iTunes and Amazon.com, but I like to be a little more creative. Beyond that, the thought of bringing more “stuff” into my home on December 25 actually repulses me. I’d rather receive nothing.

So if Black Friday happens to be your thing, then by all means enjoy the day. But I intend to spend the day after Thanksgiving giving thanks I am not bound to shopping and stores and crowds. The holidays mean much more to me than that.

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