Friday, November 26, 2010

No Black Friday For Me

I remember a time when shopping the day after Thanksgiving was fun. A lot of people were doing the same thing, but there was no pushing, no shouting, no mad rush to get the latest must-have toy, and nobody grabbing it out of your hands once you had it.

For the most part, everyone was relaxed and in a Holiday mood. Smiles were exchanged and clerks and cashiers wished everyone a Happy Holiday. It always made me think of the wonderful Christmas song, "Silver Bells", and I could imagine we'd entered some magical place where people passed "meeting smile after smile. And on every street corner you'll hear..."

It was also a time when stores opened at a normal time, and people came and went, then more people came and went. Stores did not open at some ungodly hour in the AM, so shoppers had to set alarms to get there on time. Folks also didn't camp out in parking lots and on sidewalks for days to be the first ones in. And they   didn't stampede into a store and injure other people in their desperation need to make sure they got the best deals offered.

For most of this past week, we were bombarded with reminders of this all important retail day. The media made a big deal out of Black Friday, airing what I'm sure they thought were cute human-interest stories about what people were doing to prepare. Plus there were all the ads from department stores, and it seemed like they were competing to see who could open the earliest. Some were even open on Thanksgiving and just stayed open all night and into today.

Watching this all unfold, I realized that Thanksgiving is getting lost. Think of all the retail personnel who were not able to truly celebrate the day because they had to get ready for The Big Day. And what about all the people who opted out of getting together with family at all because they preferred to be the first in line at Best Buy. One local man was interviewed on television and said, "Sorry, Grandma, we're not coming for Thanksgiving."

He laughed. The news anchors laughed. But I wanted to call up Grandma and tell her how sorry I was that her family preferred the X-Box over her.

9 comments:

The Words Crafter said...

BRAVO! *much clapping and woohoo-ing* BRAVO! I remember those better days and I'm having to remind myself why we have Christmas and trying to not be bitter about what it's become.

I hadn't thought of the retail people, but I know that for that very reason, my father in law couldn't be with his family yesterday!

I'm trying my best to get back to the simple stuff. The hard part is trying to get family and friends to do the same.....

Super fantastic post! Can I link it to my facebook and blog?

LINDA FAULKNER said...

Maryann, You are SO right!

When I was a kid, the Christmas season didn't BEGIN until the day after Thanksgiving, which was called "the day after Thanksgiving." Sure, retailers geared up for the Christmas season by ordering inventory, but Christmas ads and stock didn't go out until AFTER Thanksgiving ... and Halloween. This year, one of the local drugstore chains had Christmas stock out in mid-October!

We can't blame this Black Friday retail frenzy on the economy, either. The mindset has been apparent for years.

Seems to me that when the economy is less than spectacular, we should be more thankful for the good things we do have ... like family ... and Grandma.

I feel sorry for the guy who'd rather go to Best Buy than visit Grandma - his life is filled with treasure he doesn't even recognize. I no longer have Grandmas to visit on the holidays; I no longer have my mother, either. But I have the rest of my family - and my friends. And I'm celebrating the holiday the same way I used to, by spending it with loved ones and being thankful.

Shopping not only isn't high on my list of things to do today - on this "day after Thanksgiving" - it doesn't even appear on my list.

Terry Odell said...

I'm not fond of shopping even under 'normal' conditions. I can't believe my daughter-in-law headed out for the shops this morning (albeit at a more decent hour) and took the 3-year-old along.

On our drive back up the mountain, we stopped at the local hardware store/Radio Shack (small town-they're in the same storefront) to return a SD card Hubster bought for my Nook. He bought the wrong one. The right one was on sale for something like 75% off, so we ended up saving a good chunk of change -- but that was pure coincidence. We also went to the grocery store, which wasn't crowded at all.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for the cheers, Words Crafter. I am so glad that you found my points worthwhile.
I mentioned the retail people because my son is in retail and his store was opening at midnight last night. He had to go home early to catch a few z's before opening the store and being there the rest of the night and all day today. Whew!

Laura Eno said...

I completely agree! I think this year more than any, I've come to realize how much more important Thanksgiving is to me than any other holiday.
It truly is about thanks and relationships, without the commercialism. Part of that cozy feeling is due to blogging friends like you and the warmth I perceive from like-minded souls.

Maryann Miller said...

Aw, Laura, thanks so much. I, too am very thankful for you and all the friends I have made on the Internet.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Well-put, Maryann! I didn't go out shopping yesterday and didn't miss it at all. Honestly, I'm not sure where people's priorities are sometimes...

Carol Kilgore said...

I don't enjoy the $$$ side of Christmas, but I absolutely love everything else about the holiday. I don't shop on Black Friday. This year I managed to get everything throughout the year except for one person, who will probably get a gift certificate. So now when I go out, I can still look and if I see something small I think will be special for someone, I'll get it - from the heart.

I'm not always that organized, but this year it worked. Did I say how much I love shopping online - LOL.

Maryann Miller said...

Elizabeth, I'm with you. I don't think people have their heads on straight any more.

Carol, I wish I could be that organized and have everything done. I do have some gifts purchased. Like you, I shop throughout the year when I see something I think someone will like and pick it up. I think I have about half the list covered.