Black Friday, In More Ways Than One

In the interest of full disclosure, let me just say that I have never done the Black Friday thing.  I’m not morally opposed to it; I just choose not to go shopping at odd hours and fight through the crowds like a soldier invading enemy territory.  On Wednesday I ate lunch near a Best Buy store and saw people camped out on the sidewalk.  Sorry, that’s just not for me.  I honestly can’t think of any doodad or gadget I want that much.

I don’t know how Black Friday got its name, but the color black traditionally has a connection to mourning.  People wear black to funerals and ride in black hearses to the cemetery.  Black armbands are attached to the uniforms of athletes who’ve lost a teammate.  When I turned 40 the loving members of Poinciana Christian Church adorned the church building with black balloons.

If the “black” in Black Friday represents mourning, it is well-named.  I can think of three groups of people that will likely be feeling pretty down:

Those who ate too much on Thursday.  I read somewhere that more Tums and Rolaids are chewed in the 24-hour period following noon on Thanksgiving than any other 24-hour period of the year.  I believe it.  I have a little indigestion even as I’m writing these words.

Those who spent too much on Friday.  You tell yourself it’s a good deal.  You tell yourself you’re saving money.  You tell yourself you can’t afford not to take advantage of such a great opportunity.  But when you get home at the end of the day and add up the receipts, you just about have a heart attack.  Or if you don’t, your spouse does.

Those who have no choice but to deal with all those crazy shoppers.  I’m talking about the poor servers and retail employees who would rather be anywhere but in front of the stampede.  I’ve already seen one post on Facebook where a friend who works in retail was completely exasperated with the tide of unruly shoppers…and that was at about 8:00 p.m. on Thursday!

Again, I’m not morally opposed to Black Friday, and I certainly don’t want to put all you Black Friday lovers on a guilt trip.  But I would encourage you to keep your wits about you.  Don’t spend recklessly and don’t be rude.  And when the dust clears, remember that your most important treasures will not be the ones you lay under the tree, but the ones you lay up in heaven.

For further reflection read Matthew 6:19-21 and Colossians 3:17.

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4 Responses to Black Friday, In More Ways Than One

  1. Randy Whitehead says:

    Good thoughts, Mark. The name Black Friday, as I understand it, means that on this shopping day, the stores and businesses actually have made enough to pay all their expenses and they start making a profit with the start of the Christmas shopping season. The businesses are “in the black”!

    • Mark says:

      Thanks, Randy. What you say makes sense. Perhaps if I were more of a shopper, I would know such things. Isn’t it odd, though, that while a business goes into the black, the poor people who make it happen go into the red?

  2. Rosan Germaine says:

    I am quite content with what I am already blessed with. I do not like shopping, so I would not be caught in those long lines with all the shoving and pushing etc. that comes with “black Thursday or Friday”.

  3. Marg says:

    I am with you Mark and Roseann. I do not shop unless left with no choice LOl
    I feel empathy for those that must work it or not have a job. That is really sad and we should change our ways. It is the shoppers who push the retailers to open earlier and earlier every year. Sad they miss the whole thing of being Thankful. I like the part of business in the black and shoppes in the red!

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