Is this really any way to enjoy the start of the holiday season?
The final straw came for me on Black Friday a couple of years ago. As I watched the news that evening, the only thing I found myself thinking was how absolutely ridiculous and pathetic we’ve become as a society that we would literally stampede through a Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy like it’s the running of the bulls in Pamplona all for a good deal. Do you really need a computer, iWhatever or camera so badly that you are willing to kill someone for it? That night on the news, it was reported that an elderly man who worked as a greeter for Wal-Mart was run over and killed by a mob of people trying to get in the store when it opened. Oh! And let us not forget about the parents who died in a California Toys R Us that same year because two shoppers decided to shoot it out over toys.
Right then and there I vowed to never be a part of Black Friday again or be forced to feel like less of a person by not being extravagant in my purchases or gift giving. I'm over it. I'm tired of corporate America's ploys and tricks of trying to convince me that the spirit of Christmas is in the price tag. I'm tired of being made to feel that I have to put myself and my family in financial limbo for others – even family. It seems like everyone expects something regardless of an individuals’ circumstances or finances. I can't think of a single thing that I absolutely have to have and if I do find something, I'll buy it myself. The only thing I truly want for Christmas is to be with my family; to spend time with them and enjoy their company. That’s a gift that is invaluable to me. You can't put a price tag on those kinds of memories.
I know we all celebrate the holidays in our own ways and I by no means take anything away from those who choose to get involved in Black Friday. I’m not judging and I honestly believe to each their own - it’s just not something for me. I think what bothers me the most about Black Friday is how the meaning of the holiday spirit gets totally and utterly lost. It's really about gaining some perspective.