I'm adding my voice to the chorus calling for people to boycott "Black Friday," the Friday shopping day immediately after Thanksgiving. It's time to stop the madness into which major national retailers have turned this day, when people let themselves be manipulated by clever marketing into greedy monsters who steal items out of others' carts and literally trample store employees and each other to death in the mad pursuit of cheap merchandise. On top of that, the stores are now depriving their employees of a meaningful Thanksgiving with their families by making them come to work Thursday evening to open the stores by midnight or earlier, and work all night and day dealing with the mobs that the retailers have lured in with special "bargains."
If you have any sense of humanity left after our materialistic culture has done its work on you, don't let yourself become part of the problem; be part of the solution and choose to shop on another day. Don't buy into the idea that you can't pass up those bargains. If you can't afford certain things otherwise, just forget about them and buy something else--something you can afford on another day, regardless of discounts. Your giftees will be happy with what you get them anyway. Just pretend that "Black Friday" never existed, which was true not so long ago before we became pliant sheeple in the hands of corporate exploiters who couldn't care less about the sanctity of family holidays (I'm not a communist, just one who despises abuse of power whatever the source).
If you don't have to work on Friday, spend it with your family and do something fun together, like going to a movie or bowling. Or, find some charity to volunteer for. Decorate your house for Christmas. If you feel you have to shop on Friday, patronize small businesses like craft shops or independent book stores--you're likely to find some affordable gifts that will benefit your giftees more than electronics or expensive clothes. Above all, remember that this season isn't about the things, but the people--our spouses, children, siblings, parents, friends. We MUST make a habit of being thankful for them and of showing it by the love and personal help we give them every day of the year, not by the stuff we buy for them or how much or little we spend on it on some particular day. We can shed love abroad no matter how modest our means, and without paying a penny of tribute to a corporation or a government.
So, let's turn this Thanksgiving Day into Independence Day; let's reclaim our lives and our humanity, and rededicate them to our loved ones and to the God from whom all blessings flow. Boycott Black Friday!
P.S. If you'd like to get involved with others pursuing alternatives to Black Friday, you could start by visiting the excellent Facebook site called, appropriately enough, Boycott Black Friday.