guest post by Dynamic
Don’t let the warm temperatures, lack of snow, or surprisingly Novemberish date fool you – Christmas is here! Feeling merry, I hope?
Heck, for those of us who spend our time hanging around retail land, the “holidays” have been in full swing for weeks, even months in some cases. I can tell it’s the season for spending time with the family, because I have to work all the time instead of spending time with my family. I can also tell it’s the holiday season because I get to hear all about how Christmas is under attack – at least, if I can get away from the Christmas carols, the Christmas trees, the decorations, the choirs dressed as angels, the religious ornaments, and the evangelicals long enough to watch Fox News.
The irony, of course, is that Christmas IS under attack – swamped under a rising tide of greed, consumerism, and all the other hallmarks of capitalism at work. And nothing exemplifies that assault more than the chaos of “Black Friday.”
Often cited (erroneously) as the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday – the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday – represents the ultimate in consumer excess. With massive deals designed to entice the holiday shopper into spending early and spending often, stores open their doors from their holiday break (those that took one) well before the sun rises – but despite the early hours, many shoppers still spend hours waiting to gain access, hoping to be first in line. It is not at all unheard of for fights to break out over particularly in demand items, such as the latest video game system, the hottest movie, or – and I’m not kidding – Tickle Me Elmos.
Now, I’m not the sort of person who likes to complain without offering a couple alternatives, for the most part. I’m not going to ask you to give up the holiday season entirely. I truly don’t believe there is anything wrong with giving a heartfelt gift (but if you don’t know someone well enough to give them anything more meaningful than a gift card, then you don’t know them well enough to need to give them a gift, no matter how ‘close’ you may be in society’s eyes), and Christmas remains my favourite holiday in spirit and in meaning. But just for one day, take a break. Don’t be a part of the great consumerist orgy that is Black Friday. This November 23rd, buy nothing. All day.
It’s both harder, and easier, than you think.