Thursday, November 24, 2011

#113 - The Worst Day of the Year?

Now that the Thanksgiving feasting is over and tables have been cleared and food put away all over the country, we can allow our thoughts to turn to . . . shopping???

Yes, even before we finish digesting our meals it is time to turn our attention to Christmas shopping. Thanksgiving is not even over, and the Christmas advertising has begun in full force.

I've been inundated with e-mails from traditional and online retailers alike over the last several days. It's enough to make me want to say "Enough."

Regardless of where you stand on the religious and spiritual significance of Christmas, it doesn't seem too much to ask for a slight break between Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas shopping season. At the very least, I don't think it is too much to ask that stores wait until the day after Thanksgiving before they launch their sales assaults.

Instead, we have stores opening at 10 p.m. or midnight on Thanksgiving, assuming they closed at all. (Wal-Mart's deals begin at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night. I'll let you reach your own conclusions as to what that says about how they feel about their employees.) We barely have time to reflect on the things we are thankful for before we begin thinking about the deals we hope to snag and be thankful for.

From a time to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ (for those who are Christians) or even a time to remember and celebrate being with family (as was probably more the case in my family growing up), Christmas has become the primary profit-making season for retailers and the time of year when many of us show the worst aspects of what it is to be human.

Greed and selfishness have replaced giving, compassion, and good will as the bywords of Christmas. Christmas shopping itself has become a competition. We fight each other to grab the last doodad or whatchamacallit that next year neither we nor the recipients will recall. I personally don't think any thing is worth that much trouble.

While some will get up at midnight or four a.m. to try and save some money (but at what other cost), assuming they go to bed at all, I will be sleeping snug in my bed (without the visions of sugar plums in my head).

I am content to let others run the retail gauntlet. They are welcome to endure the bumping and bruising from other shoppers. Let them experience the disappointment of finding that the store has sold out of the item they got up early to get. I don't mind missing those deals. After all, there will be others.

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