Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friday Black Friday

Not to be confused with Sunday, Bloody Sunday

So, after working 56 hours (give or take) in 4 days, my blog had a little rest. (While I did not)
So, this Black Friday blog will find its home on the Tuesday (or Wednesday if you're somewhere far from me) following Cyber Monday. Oy! With the labels already! We get it! People like to shop!
 'Tis the season, anyway, for swiping plastic and a mighty river of flowing cash. Several people have asked me if I partook of the American Holy Day known as Black Friday. (Ok, I added the American Holy Day thing). My general response is to shudder and reply "Do I look crazy?"
  The throngs of people running, trampling, thieving, and general disrespecting the other thousand throngs of people is enough to keep me home hiding under blankets with a good book. Or Netflix, I guess. But to be honest, Black Friday crowds are not my number one annoyance with the new American tradition. It is the supposed celebration for which these gifts are being hoarded that fuels my frustration.
Why, it should be asked, are these masses of people lining up and literally trampling each other to death? For Christmas presents, if I am not mistaken. It is for the sake of the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Messiah and redeemer of life (not coupons) that we shove, name call, trample, destroy public property, and even rip items out of our neighbor's hands. (I'm sure He was just kidding about that whole not coveting your neighbor's stuff thing.)

Um. Yeah. Hi. Have we even read the Bible? That cute little baby in the manger grew up to say some pretty profound stuff. Things we seem to love to disregard to suit our own needs. (Trust me, I'm the queen.)

Remember the rich young ruler? Young guy, stacks of cash, loads of belongings, lots of power. He bumped into Jesus one day.

"Teacher, (that's the cute little manger baby in grown up form) what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Yeah, yeah. I do all those things. So, I'm good right?"

"Wait, what? You want me to do what? Sell my stuff? Give it away to the poor? Um....ok. I'll.....I'll think about it."

Then he skulks away, bummed.

So, let me clarify. In celebration of the birth of the guy who says get rid of our stuff, we do what now?.

**Stay tuned tomorow when my idealistic side, cynical side, and the side that likes Christmas presents go head to head to head.


  1. Thanks for putting voice to some of my concerns. I read some comments the other day arguing against things like 'Buy Nothing Day' because it's classist and elitist - only the people who can afford to participate in Buy Nothing Day are suburban white elitists and all that - basically the idea that we shouldn't judge poor people for shopping on Black Friday because those are the only days they can get the deals to afford those Christmas presents they need. I knew there was something wrong with that idea, but I couldn't put my finger on it and here it is!

    The idea behind things like Buy Nothing Day are not the idea that we're seeking to be part of some cool crowd that doesn't participate in the mainstream. It's that we see a problem with mindless consumerism on any level, whether you're rich, poor, white or black or whatever. The fundamental problem is the idea that you NEED to buy Christmas presents in the first place, not that you are blindly trampling people to get at low prices (though that is certainly part of it). Those who participate in Buy Nothing Day, at least the ones I know, also understand that it doesn't do any good to simply transfer the money you would have spent on Buy Nothing Day to a different day and call it good. The point is not spending the money on Christmas presents at all. It's not elitist, and it's not shaming the poor for buying stuff. It's shaming EVERYONE for buying into the idea that we need this stuff in the first place.

    Thanks for helping me to clarify that! :)

  2. First, Thanks Dianna for commenting! It totally makes my day!
    Second, I echo your thoughts. I especially appreciated the part about simply spending the money on a different day and calling it good. I hadn't heard of Buy Nothing Day, which is great in concept, if maybe it would spill into Buy Nothing Christmas. Then, as a concept, maybe I'd buy it. :)