Black Friday

I blame years of newspaper reporting over my distaste of Black Friday.

After all, it’s the media that whole-hardheartedly embraces any excuse for advertising revenue. And who can blame them? Money is how their business stays afloat.

Listen to the ads on TV, all urging you to part with your money. Look how fat the newspaper is getting with sales fliers as the holidays near.

My e-mail boxes have been stuffed with promotional copy for weeks.

Merchants want me to go to the mall, or Wal-Mart, or one of the tech stores. And spend my money.

Buying early Christmas presents. Treating myself, too.

Eating something other than leftovers for lunch or dinner. Or both.

But I’m holding out.

It’s far too early to think about Christmas. My soul’s not ready.

Shoot, when did we decide to go from Halloween right into Christmas anyway?

Especially when there’s something called “Thanksgiving” in between. The day we’re supposed to give thanks, relax with family and friends, eat ourselves into a stupor. Succumb to the L-tryptophan in turkey and take a nap.

Not go shopping.

When I was working as a newspaper journalist, every year I’d head out early on Black Friday. I’d go to the mall (why traipse all over town when the mall was where the shoppers were?)

I’d survey the landscape a while, then pick some unsuspecting “victim” to drill:

  • How long did you have to wait in line?
  • What are you buying that you couldn’t get some other time?
  • Do you do this every year?
  • What do you like best about Black Friday?

That sort of thing.

Most interviewees were pretty agreeable, as I recall. They were tickled at being picked, eager to see their names in print, and helpful in pointing out other people I should talk to.

But mingling with the masses wasn’t where I wanted to be. I wanted to be home with my family. Playing board games or cards. Sipping hot cocoa with marshmallows. Sampling the leftovers. Watching football on TV.

There are folks who enjoy the bustle of Black Friday. The crowds. The sales.

Some, I suppose, get it ALL done on that day, and that must be an incredible feeling.

Still, I won’t be joining them this year.

Call me jaded, but I feel sure a month is enough time for me to carefully pick out Christmas presents, rather than grabbing stuff just because I see someone else wants it.

To leisurely shop when it’s convenient for me, rather than when the stores tell me I should arrive.

To get into the proper frame of mind for giving. And receiving.

How about you? Do you do Black Friday?

Note: Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!