Christmas is not about retailers making a profit, and consumers spending more than they can afford. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas comes from the old English words "Christ's Mass" – the word Mass is the Latin term "missa", or dismissal. Christmas means, you are dismissed, go and spread the Good Word of Christ.
Notice the words black and friday are not capitalized in the title of this post. I know that grammatically they should be, but they are not because I am expressing an opinion.
What is black friday? Now, it is associated with the day after Thanksgiving, where large retailers have people queuing up for sometimes days, just to be one of the first into the store to get bargains. It's called Black because the companies expect to have enough sales to make a net profit, instead of being in the red.
What's Wrong with black friday?
There are several things I find wrong about black friday.
- As a Catholic, the start of the Christmas season is not the day after Thanksgiving, it's the First Sunday of Advent, 20 to 28 days before Christmas. This year, Advent starts on Sunday, December 10th. To begin the Christmas season, we put out the Advent Wreath, put out the Nativity scene, and trim the Christmas tree. We prepare our house for the coming of the Baby Jesus.
- When I was working in the stock brokerage business, Black Friday only meant one thing. It meant the day in the 1929 stock market crash that started the Great Depression. Black Friday was not a "feel good" day, by any means.
- People have been hurt or killed at black fridays. There are many instances of shoppers crushing others, crushing employees, bringing guns and knives to frighten other shoppers, and spraying pepper spray to dissuade others from getting certain items. black friday is dangerous!
- Small businesses suffer. Yes, there is Small Business Saturday, but by the time Saturday rolls around, a lot of consumers have already spent their money and have nothing left to spend at smaller shops.
- This video of people fighting over smart phones at a Wal-Mart is a perfect example of what is wrong with black friday, the day after we give thanks, we try to kill each other.
Alternatives and Answers
There are alternatives and answers to this madness.
- Retailers would do better to spread the discounts over the year. Why wait until November? Have deep discount sales throughout the year.
- Keep the discounts through December – spread the wealth. This means that consumers could spend at both the large retailers and the small business retailers. More jobs would be created this way as well, as more temporary workers would be needed through the month, instead of just one day.
- Encourage shoppers to use the on-line version of the store, offer free shipping. This also helps the Postal Service.
- Shop at your local small retailer. Keep the economy strong in your local community.
Remember the Meaning of Christmas
I get offended when people say, "Season's Greetings". Say "Merry Christmas", or even "Happy Holidays". Holiday means Holy Day. In our efforts to be more politically correct, we have lost the meaning of the word. Now Christmas means spending money that you can't afford, to buy presents, a lot of which won't be touched or even appreciated.
Let's all remember the Three Wise Men, who brought only three gifts for the Baby Jesus. The gifts were meaningful, and Jesus was not inundated with scores of toys.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Let's all look at ourselves, and see what we have done for each other through the year. What have you given to your community? What have you done to be more like Christ? Prepare the way to spread the Good News.