Black Friday – Also Known as Greed is Good Day

The season of greed, envy, materialism and consumption has arrived complete with pepper spray in one store. Many call this season Christmas.  Yes, today is the day that people stand in long lines to spend money they don’t have on things they don’t need because they are on sale. Can’t pass up a bargain.

I can pass up a bargain. I’ve never shopped on Black Friday as it is referred to by its many devotees. I once ventured into a mall on the day after Christmas to take advantage of a sale. That was thirty years ago and I never did that again. I don’t like to shop and I don’t like crowds.

I’m not swayed by the planned obsolescence that is common in the market place. I replace items when they break or no longer function, not because this moment’s version of the latest technological gizmo is better in some very small way than last year’s version or even the six month ago version.

Oddly, all of this conspicuous consumption is done to celebrate the birth of a man who urged followers to give away all their worldly possessions to the poor and follow him.  Perhaps the shop ’til they drop crowd is simply replacing the possessions they gave to the poor. Though I’m pretty sure the message wasn’t give away your possessions to the poor so you can buy new stuff. And they probably just stuffed the old stuff deeper into their closets.

Yes, I’m a bit cynical. However, I did refrain from ruining everyone’s Thanksgiving by not posting yesterday about wondering if Native Americans celebrate Thanksgiving – loss of lands for a handful of beads and blankets infected with smallpox – probably not. (You just got the abridged version.) So I’ll sign off by saying to the easily swayed shoppers – Happy Black Friday and to my fellow cynics (I know there are a few out there) – Happy Mocking of the Shopping Day.

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16 thoughts on “Black Friday – Also Known as Greed is Good Day

  1. I like to buy presents for the people I love. But it should be a joy, not anger-inducing chaos. No Black Fridays for me. I shop mostly online, and then I take one weekday off from work and finish up.

  2. And this is why I have a 10 year old car with 135,000 miles on it that still runs fine and does exactly what it’s intended to do: get me from here to there and back.

  3. My 4 year old car gets me from here to there and will probably do so for the next 10 years or more, then I’m hoping my next car will make me espresso and massage my shoulders whilst taking me places.

  4. Nice post. I like to up-cycle. I think the best was the year I bought a bolt of broadcloth to use for a table cloth on Thanksgiving. Then, I used the same fabric to make aprons for gifts. I customized each apron with bits and pieces of things that had some significance for the person. Carry on!

  5. Once, in 1984 I went to a ToysRUs to get a birthday gift for my then-young nephew Nate. I have never shopped on Black Friday since.

    Perhaps we can divide the world in the the Black Friday Shoppers and the I-Would-Rather-Have-A-Root-Canal-than-Shop-on-Black-Friday folks.

  6. We didn’t have money when my kids were small, so we celebrated Christmas a week later in order to take advantage of post Christmas sales. Now we continue the tradition by volunteering at a local community kitchen on Christmas Day and passing out gifts on New Years Eve. It works for us.

  7. Last year I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving at a church on the Navajo Reservation. I really didn’t know what to expect that time of year, but we all celebrated Thanksgiving together. Everyone has something they can be thankful for.

  8. I prefer the older stuff – rumpled and lived in, like me. And I already know the old stuff works.

    Every holiday I try and take some time out to spend some time alone and contemplate the meaning and significance of the holiday. No interest ever in the crowds and shopping.

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