I love a good spectacle. So now that Black Friday’s come around, I really want to go. At midnight. It seems that would be the best time for viewing. Perhaps I could find a tram or something to get a closer look: I’d get to see ravenous consumers roaming the mall from store to store, combing through the merchandise to find their bleeding prey. Or at least, a great deal. It’s like we’ve regressed back to being hunter-gatherers, but instead of finding berries and venison, we’re foraging for XBOX’s and blouses.
Black Friday is a weird day. It sounds ominous, like the Black Plague or something. When did this all begin? Here’s the account according to Wikipedia:
Although Black Friday, as the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, has served as the unofficial beginning of the Christmas season at least since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the term “Black Friday” has been traced back only to the 1970s. “Black Friday” was originally so named because of the heavy traffic on that day, although most contemporary uses of the term refer instead to it as the beginning of the period in which retailers are in the black.
It’s one of those oddities in the calendar: like Halloween before All Saints Day or Mardi Gras before Easter. These holidays operate like yin and yang. I guess it would have to happen to Thanksgiving. Right after we thank God for everything we have and feel content and full, we then wake up at the crack of dawn to buy something more. It’s like we just forget what happened the day before, and remind ourselves yet again of everything we don’t have or wish we had or needed more of.
The Scriptures call us to be “content in any and every situation.” But it’s hard when that flat screen TV is 50% off. Or when a giant size iPhone beckons us in from it’s crystal perch. (It’s no accident that the Apple logo has a bite taken out of it — not-so-subtly hinting at what happened in Eden, isn’t it?) It says, “I know you want me,” and blows a seductive kiss in our direction. And we feel the need again. Though our bellies hang with cranberry sauce, we need to feel full again. And isn’t it good for the economy anyway? Want and spend — isn’t that the American way of life?
Why not extend Thanksgiving for a few more days, at least through the weekend? What if we let Christmas and its shopping hold off for a while? It’s red-tag sales will still be there, and the shopping won’t go away. But for now, enjoy the family, count your blessings, and be full for a little bit.
I guess I’ll miss the spectacle again this year. Too bad: Best Buy had this 32″ LCD for under… never mind.